During a keynote at our ILM:07 conference in L.A., Chamath Palihapitiya, Facebook‘s VP of product marketing and operations, said the company is keenly interested in driving local advertising via local media partners, its own outreach efforts and other means.
Just six months after opening up beyond the college and high school student market, Facebook now has 55 million active users — with half signing on every day. Palihapitiya noted that “we can work with newspapers [and other local media] to complement demand fulfillment that already happens online. [Facebook has] a much broader solution for the marketplace. We have a much larger demand generation piece than has been captured by offline media.”
“Every user, every day generates 40 page views,” noted Palihapitiya. Those page views come from “searches, photos, communicating with friends, blog posts. … They are very subtle conversations with users.” Advertisers can do the same thing “on very open, very flexible terms. They get a massive amount of distribution that is otherwise really, really difficult to get,” given the fragmentation of media.
Two weeks ago, Facebook launched “Facebook Ads,” which provide complete user profiles for business owners, and an ad product tagged “social ads.” Palihapitiya said the ads have already generated a quarter million pages “and local is the second-largest driver of information.”