“Give Mark money!”, Or How Facebook’s Appetites Have Changed
Mark Zuckerberg has repeatedly emphasized that he did not create Facebook for money. However, the monetization of the project began quite quickly. Already in the year of foundation of the social network, he launches the Flyers project. Local clubs post student party and social events information and pay $ 10 to 40 per day to run ads.
The first major Facebook client is PartyPoker online casino. For each user who has deposited $ 50, PartyPoker will transfer $ 300. The baton takes Apple. Steve Jobs’s company pays a dollar for every user who joins the Facebook corporate group.
Realizing the potential of advertising, Facebook is updating the Flyers Pro system. The advertiser has become available for keyword targeting in user profiles, work, relationship status, political views and education. Thanks to another system – Facebook Ads – advertisers could manage advertising: create company pages, distribute advertising messages and analyze the target audience.
Since 2008, advertisements appear in news feeds – users can comment, like advertisement pages and subscribe to advertisers’ news. But the real boom happened three years later: if previously advertising on Facebook consisted of banners, company pages and ads in the right column, now the content of advertisers looks like friends’ posts.
But the audience quickly recognized the ads and reluctantly clicked on the banners. To increase conversion, Facebook has developed a “smart tape”. Instead of chronologically sorting messages, the algorithm combines chronology with popularity – to display the most relevant posts at the most appropriate time (depending on the actions that the user performed on the partners website, on the social network itself, at the moment when it is more likely to be ready for targeted actions )
Over the next 10 years, the algorithm is constantly getting smarter. It requires brands to have more organic content so that users see only messages that interest them. Requirements for advertising posts are being tightened, their coverage is gradually falling. Facebook filters links to low-quality websites, punishes for clickbait headers and videos, cracking down on fake news. Advertising hides better, but still remains advertising.
Toward a mobile audience
From 2009 to 2012, Facebook appealed to a mobile audience. The mobile version of the site, the mobile application for Android, is being consistently developed. Without warm-ups, advertisements from Facebook appear on phone screens – advertising stories, commercial messages, offers to install applications.
Parallel to this, the development of Facebook Messenger ends. With advertising in it, the developers dragged on for seven years, but still could not resist. Since 2017, a merry-go-round with advertising banners appears on the Messenger homepage. A similar format is broadcast in the news feed.
Then it did not seem like a revolution, but mobile advertising turned the global Internet market. In 2012, mobile advertising accounted for 23% of Facebook’s revenue, and in 2018, a staggering 93%.
Take it off immediately
In 2013, Facebook announced the appearance of video ads. When advertisers finally got the opportunity to upload short clips from 3 to 15 seconds, that was just the beginning. Today, video advertising includes several formats: pre-roll and mid-roll in videos, advertising in “story” and live broadcasts.
Along with the development of video content, the social network updated the feed algorithms. In 2017, videos got priority over other content. When ranking Facebook, it took into account indicators of audience engagement: likes, reposts, repeat views, and still placed videos above the text.
Two years ago, Facebook launched the story format. By analogy with Instagram, a user could share video stories with his friends on Facebook. A year later, when the number of active users exceeded 150 million, the social network introduced advertising. Advertising in the story includes three formats: video, image and slideshow.
More money, more services.
In 2018, Facebook revenue rose to a record $ 55.8 billion, of which $ 55 billion in advertising revenue. What are these numbers for? All Facebook communication formats sooner or later followed the path of commercialization. Improving the algorithms, the owners struggled with the obsession of advertising, but not with its quantity.
We dare to assume that the trend will continue. Users are hiding from advertising in new communication formats and even services (hi, WhatsApp), but it goes after people, masking themselves better and better with useful content. Facebook knows how to get you to the brand page.
One of Mark Zuckerberg’s most famous quotes: “We do not create services to make money. We make money to create better services. ” The history of Facebook proves that the best services make money quite successfully.