Facebook Announces Premium Advertising Tools

Brands given Timeline-formatted pages, mobile ads and Reach Generator in pre-IPO effort to raise revenue

Facebook has unveiled a host of new advertising tools in what has been touted as a possible way to raise revenue ahead of its upcoming IPO.

Among the key features announced at an event held at the Museum of Natural History in New York include Facebook Premium, brand Timeline pages and Reach Generator.

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Brands will be most directly affected by the changeover to the Timeline format, which has been available for regular users for some time now, and will now compel businesses to tell a ‘story’ with their pages. Mike Hoefflinger, director of global marketing partnerships, called Timeline “the richest, most customisable marketing canvas we’ve ever built”.

A number of organisations, including Manchester United and Burberry, have already switched to Timeline pages, publishing plenty of new content to document their extensive histories.

Facebook also revealed that it would finally roll out mobile adverts to capitalise on the growing user base that accesses the social network by smartphone or tablet. The ads will appear in news feeds and will likely be used as part of the Premium and Reach Generator tools. Reach Generator is touted by Facebook as a way for brands to ensure that their content is seen by a large proportion of their fans.

“Reach Generator guarantees that you reach 75 percent of your fans each month and an estimated 50 percent of fans each week in a simple, always-on way,” Facebook said in a statement to AFP. “Fans will see your message as a sponsored story on the right-hand side of their homepage or in their news feed on desktop or mobile.”

The product is similar to Premium Offers – both require a payment from the brands and use the same platforms – though Reach Generator is more specific in targeting fans. Premium is more generalised, beginning as a post on a brand page which can then be expanded to feature on the right-hand side of the home-page, news feeds and log-out pages. Facebook’s Offers product, launched last year to compete against discount sites like Groupon, will also be pushed in a similar manner.

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