Infographic: Q1 performance of search vs. Facebook ads

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One of the biggest questions in online advertising is whether search or social advertising is the best route to go.

Kenshoo, a Facebook Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer, recently compared how search advertising is performing in Q1, compared to Facebook ads. Though Facebook advertising’s cost-per-click has risen 35 percent year-over-year, it has decreased 26 percent quarter-over-quarter.

Other key findings (YoY):

  • Search ad spend increased 10% and Facebook spend increased 37%
  • Search advertiser revenue increased 12% and Facebook revenue increased 191%
  • Search clicks increased 8% and Facebook clicks increased 1%
  • Search average cost-per-click was $0.59 (up 2%) and Facebook was $0.25 (up 35%)

Learn more about the trends in search vs. Facebook advertising by reading below.

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Facebook to lose Engineering and Products VP Greg Badros

gregbadrosAccording to AllThingsD, Facebook’s Engineering and Products Vice President, Greg Badros, will leave the company in a few weeks.

Badros, who has been with Facebook for four years, confirmed his departure in a statement:

I’m grateful to Mark and everyone at Facebook for creating an amazing company that provides an enormous ability to have positive impact in the world. I will very much miss the teams I worked with and interacting with such amazing world-class talent every day. Finally, I’m excited to start iterating on what’s next for me: I’ve learned so much over my many years working and leading at each of Facebook and Google. I’m looking forward to finding new ways to continue my positive impact on the world both as an individual and through companies I invest in and advise.

Badros, who was one of five chief product VPs who reported directly to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, has not given a definite departure date nor has he said exactly where he’s going next. With Facebook, Badros was responsible for monetization and advertising products. He also led Facebook’s search efforts.

Facebook issued a statement to AllThingsD regarding Badros:

Greg was a valuable member of Facebook’s team, and we wish him the best of luck in the future.

Image courtesy of AllThingsD.

Facebook playing with trending topics — how can it make hashtag search better?

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Shortly after Facebook borrowed from Twitter (and Instagram) by making hashtags clickable on the site, industry leaders and other Facebook marketers wondered when Facebook would import another Twitter staple: trending topics.

According to AllThingsD, Facebook is testing a trending section on its mobile website for select U.S. users. When a user taps on a topic that is trending (for instance in the above photo, Alex Rodriguez, Shark Week, Jeff Bezos or Vince Young), they’ll see posts from their friends about that topic, as well as public posts — similar to what happens when a user searches something via hashtags on the desktop version of Facebook.

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Is search marketing Facebook’s end goal?

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Facebook’s June 20 new product announcement is gathering a lot of curiosity by the technology business world. We are all in anticipation over what Facebook will release and how we think it will affect the lives of Facebook users, which now account for 1 in 7 people across the planet. Early indicators based on code released by Facebook point to some form of an RSS tool.

From a user functionality point of view, a feature with RSS feed could be a new channel to find information, or track trending topics within Facebook. Similar to how Reddit has built a very successful aggregator of information through user submitted and promoted content, Facebook could potentially optimize its News Feed to include trending topics amongst Facebook users. Recent interface changes would also support this theory. For example, Facebook has added nested comments making it easier to for users to have conversations based on comments as is popular in Reddit.

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Facebook to announce new product June 20

June20Invite

Facebook went old school in announcing the launch event for its newest product, sending invitations out to the media through snail mail.

The company told members of the media that it will introduce something new at its Menlo Park, Calif. office on Thursday, June 20. Reporters received an invitation from Facebook, with the words, “A small team has been working on a big idea. Join us for coffee and to learn about a new product.”

It’ll be interesting to see what Facebook introduces. The company has been aggressively launching new products and rebuilding old ones in the past few months. As Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s Co-Founder and CEO, previously explained, there are three pillars of Facebook: timeline, News Feed and Graph Search.

While both timeline and News Feed have undergone heavy renovations and redesigns, this could be a chance to introduce something new with regard to Graph Search, which has largely been unchanged since its introduction.

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Facebook to eliminate sponsored search results

SponsoredResultsTeaserAs part of its recent advertising simplification push, Facebook is eliminating its sponsored search results ad unit. A Facebook spokesperson told Inside Facebook that the reason why the sponsored results will be nixed is because the most common marketers for them were app and game developers, and Facebook feels that the mobile app install ads and page post link ads are more efficient ways to reach this goal.

A Facebook spokesperson announced the news to Inside Facebook:

In keeping with the goal of streamlining our ad products, starting in July advertisers will no longer be able to buy sponsored results. We’ve seen that most marketers were buying sponsored results to advertise their apps and games, and we already offer mobile app install ads and Page post link ads on desktop to achieve these same goals.

Facebook noted that this won’t happen immediately. Starting in July, Facebook will no longer offer sponsored search results as an ad unit and by mid to late July, users will stop seeing sponsored search results.

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Facebook officially supports hashtags

hashtag300-204Hashtags were rumored to be coming to Facebook earlier this year, but the site officially announced Wednesday that it has added support for the popular Twitter and Instagram staple. Now whenever a Facebook user puts a hashtag in their status update or comment, it connects it to others talking about the same thing.

For instance if you leave a comment on a post, something like “Go #Spurs!”, you can then click the #Spurs hashtag and see the discussion around the keyword on Facebook. This could be huge for Facebook’s Graph Search, which will now allow users to search by keyword.

Several users have reported that hashtags aren’t linked yet, so it appears that this is a gradual rollout by Facebook.

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Facebook brings business object type to Open Graph

developer-iosLast week, Facebook updated open graph developer tools with the introduction of the business object for Open Graph. The feature will help convey local business information better in the news feed, Graph Search, Check-ins and Pages. Developers that have already found their own solutions for their businesses through Open Graph objects will still be able to use them, but Facebook encourages adopting this new object type going forward.

For developers that want to begin using this object type, this can be done by updating the object properties in the object type settings. Developers can also include additional properties for the object such as operating hours and contact data.

Simply put, this update will make it easier for local business discoverability. For example, in Graph Search, if a user were to search the phrase, “Restaurants in San Francisco my friends have visited”, Graph Search will be able to provide more accurate results. With more information from the business and accurate object types, users will be able to query search such as “Bakeries my friends have visited that are open on Sundays.”

Earlier this month, Facebook introduced Aciion Spec Targeting which allows advertisers to target users by the recency of their activity. By introducing a new local business object type, Facebook provides advertisers the ability to improve their targeting helping them create hyper-relevant ads. For example, an advertiser will be able to better target a person that has checked into the restaurant recently or made a purchase.

Facebook hires: linguist, search quality rater, privacy program manager and more

hiresFacebook removed 21 positions from its careers page this week, likely after making hires in the areas of search, user operations, infrastructure and marketing, among others.

The company appears to have hired a linguist to “assist with a variety of language projects, including extensions to Graph Search.” Another job listing removed this week as for an entity quality rater to “help assess the quality of Facebook’s search results for People, Pages, Games, etc.” These hires could help Facebook as it looks to ramp up its search efforts.

Prior listings removed from Facebook’s careers page:

  • Finance Manager (São Paulo)
  • Entity Quality Rater (Menlo Park)
  • Linguist (Menlo Park)
  • Privacy Program Manager (Menlo Park)
  • Law Enforcement Response Analyst (Dublin)
  • University Recruiter – Contractor (Menlo Park)
  • UX Researcher (Contractor) (Palo Alto)
  • Controls Engineer (Prineville)
  • Critical Facility Technician (Prineville)
  • Site Supervisor, Cabling Infrastructure (Forest City)
  • Sustainability Data Analyst (Menlo Park)
  • Mechanical Engineer (Menlo Park)
  • Content Writer, User Operations (Menlo Park)
  • Associate Writer, User Operations (Austin)
  • Team Lead, User Operations (Hyderabad) (Hyderabad)
  • Account Manager, ANZ (Sydney) (Sydney)
  • Account Manager, Retail (Menlo Park)
  • Strategic Partner Development – News/TV (New York)
  • Analyst, SMB Growth, Global Marketing Solutions (Austin)
  • Lead, Global Marketing Solutions – CPG (Menlo Park)
  • Lead, Global Marketing Solutions – Entertainment (Austin)

Who else is hiring? The Inside Network Job Board presents a survey of current openings at leading companies in the industry.

Guest Post: Search without Social is Incomplete

Bill-HankesThis is a guest post by Bill Hankes, a director at Bing, Microsoft’s search engine.

The amount of data Facebook ingests every day is roughly equivalent to the total amount of Internet traffic at the height of the Internet bubble. Think about that. The amount of data back in 1998 was so immense that search technology couldn’t keep up, and a company called Google was founded to help people access this burgeoning corpus of information.

Interestingly, we face the same dilemma today with Facebook that users of the World Wide Web faced years ago. We know there’s a wealth of useful knowledge housed in social networks that we’d like to intelligently access, but the tools today are still relatively young.

The data created every day on social networks is just as important as any other content being published on the web. Maybe even more so because it’s from a source you may know or trust. Suppose your friend posted a photo using her new Olympus underwater camera on a recent scuba trip, or your foodie friend checked in on Facebook or Foursquare at the new local gastro-pub? How might that information influence your decisions or help you get something done? What are the implications for brands given the availability of social data in search?
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