Facebook Launches Sponsored Results Search Ads

Aug 23, 2012

According to a report on tech website TechCrunch, Facebook is pushing out sponsored search results as an ad option for marketers:

While it hasn’t been publicly announced, Facebook is now telling marketers the Sponsored Results search typeahead ad unit it began testing last month “launches today”. It lets marketers target users searching for specific apps, Pages, and Places and insert a link into the typeahead results that points to their own app, Page, custom Page tab, or post. Businesses cannot direct users off-site with the ads yet, though they can appear above the top organic result making them powerful for diverting traffic from competitors.

Let the war for Facebook search begin? Not quite yet.

We mentioned last month that Facebook is in a state of development for its search results and this feature seems to be the first to be rolled out. Unfortunately, I don’t think it is the right feature. As I said in July:

Search has been a sore spot for the social network for as long as I can remember. It has never been good. There have been fits and starts, like its partnership with Microsoft of incorporating Bing search results. The implementation has been clumsy and does little to use the potential of what Facebook knows about your connections.

Of course, sponsored results don’t do much to help make search better. Assuming Facebook does make internal search better though, this does have great potential. It could be better than Google AdWords since there aren’t a lot of people who click through to see other results and it takes you straight to the page with no easy way to back out except to type your search query again.

The downside is that the sponsored result is the very first spot. That might have some good results initially but it will start to degrade as people get used to the ad being there (the same way most have gotten used to AdWords being the first thing on top of Google search results).

Do you plan on exploring Facebook’s sponsored results?

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