It has been a busy day for Facebook. While the world’s social network is failing on Wall Street, and its investors are crying foul, the company continues to build new products and iterate its existing services. Today, Facebook has announced the official launch of its latest ad platform, Sponsored Results. And it rolled out a major redesign of Facebook Messages, just for good measure.
Facebook Sponsored Results
Facebook’s latest ad program is Sponsored Results. As TechCrunch explains, the new ad feature takes a note from Google Instant: When searching for a specific page, app or person in Facebook’s search box, recommendations for other types of apps often appear in the results. With Sponsored Results, advertisers will have the option to pay for the placement of ads among the search results that instantly appear in Facebook’s search box.
While another ad module might seem like an annoyance, the sponsored ad isn’t much of a hindrance to the user experience. For the time being, the new ad module will solely appear on Facebook’s desktop app, and will likely be just one more ad that many of us will simply glance over. The new feature, however may end up inconveniencing advertisers as this new ad strategy forces advertisers to jockey for ad space.
Sponsored results will presumably compel advertisers to recommend their own apps or pages next to competing businesses. Rather than bidding for keywords, advertisers will be required to bid for pages, apps, or places. The first round of beta partners includes Match.com, Zynga, EA, Disney, King.com and Kixeye. Inside Facebook noticed that these companies have already begun placing their sponsored results next to popular apps. For example, a search for “Instagram” lists two sponsored results by Buffalo Studios’ Bingo Blitz, and Match.com.
Facebook Messages redesign
In other Facebook news, the social network is rolling out a new design for Facebook Messages. Facebook has set its sight on evolving Facebook Messages into the default inbox for Facebook users, as indicated by the forced switch to its @facebook.com email addresses for all users.
In what Facebook describes as a “side-by-side layout” in the latest design, users can click through the messages on the left-hand column and open up the full conversation in the window on the right-hand side. The new look is reminiscent to Apple Mail, which parts the email’s subject from its content for easy browsing. The tweaks just might be sufficient in changing users’ perception of Facebook Messages as a social media messaging service to a legitimate email service.
In addition to these changes, Facebook has added keyboard commands for quicker navigation.