Facebook to use cookies for an ad network

October 30, 2007

Both Techcrunch and Venture Beat have posts about the forthcoming (still rumoured though) ad technology from Facebook. Word is that it will use cookies to track users data and activity on Facebook and then serve them ads based on that data when they leave the social network and browse other web properties.

Sound idea! Facebook profiles carry a wealth of data that could be of use to ad serving technologies.

Now, this won’t work unless there is a third party cookie involved which is tied to the ad network and not Facebook. Otherwise the cookie would only be of use to serve ads while on the Facebook site. So will this cookie be part of Microsofts ad serving technology, another third party ad network who Facebook could sell the data to or will Facebook go it alone and set up an ad network?

It’s an opportunity for Facebook to make some serious money, although I really doubt the valuation touted by Venture Beat. $100 billion will not be seen from an online company in the near future I’d be willing to bet. The ads served through this technology will be very targetted though (potentially more than ever before), great news for those of us in online travel who suffer high CPM’s and low clickthroughs due to the lack of targetting data available currently.

Only issue with this is the prevalance of cookie blocking technology. Any ad network using this cookie will get listed on all the blocking sites and software very quickly and also the knowledge that this is happening could turn off a large amount of Facebook users very quickly.

It’s supposed to be announced on the 6th November, so I’ll reserve final judgement until then. Perhaps Double Click will be the partner of choice 😉


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