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Facebook testing targeted ads in Graph Search

facebook graph search ads
Image used with permission by copyright holder

When Facebook Graph search was first announced, everyone assumed that there were ads right around the corner. Graph Search offers incredibly specific user information, and it’s a natural fit for targeted ads via Facebook’s Exchange system. And now, InsideFacebook reports that Facebook has started testing out ads in Graph Search. 

It appears the social network has been testing ads that aren’t targeted based on search queries; they are simply an extension of the Facebook Exchange and Marketplace ads.

In other words, what you type into the search results have absolutely affect on the types of ads that will pop up inside of Graph Search (at least not yet). These ads are the same banner ads that show up in the right-hand column of your profile page, and soon enough embedded in your News Feed. These ads instead are targeted based on your likes, profile data, and websites you’ve been browsing off Facebook.

To start, these ads won’t be too intrusive (at least based on the screenshots above), and InsideFacebook notes that they will start showing up if there is more than one page of search results – and that doesn’t apply to Bing Web searches. Facebook Exchange ads will be lined up horizontally between the fold of pages.

This is likely merely a start for ads when it comes to Graph Search; this certainly won’t be the only ad type that will run, especially if Facebook wants to take a slice out of Google’s search market share. The social network is certainly staying up on its advertising game, already talking about how ads will be worked into the newly-launched Facebook Home, and their increasing presence in the News Feed and Facebook mobile – not to mention the huge gamble the company is about to take with auto-play video ads. Clearly, Facebook is looking into a multi-layered marketing approach, and of course the concern remains that users will end up feeling further alienated. 

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