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Facebook Launches New Ads for Merchants

Facebook is doing to Google what Google did to eBay – targeting online merchants in an effort to boost its revenue. On Tuesday, Facebook launched product ads, “a solution designed to help businesses promote multiple products or their entire product catalog, across all the devices their customers use.”

According to AdWeek, the new Facebook Product Ads have an edge by letting merchants zero in on users based on things like clothing preferences, musical tastes and location. It quoted Adobe analyst Tamara Gaffney, who said Facebook’s targeting capabilities could take some of the limelight from Google shopping ads.

Facebook already offers ad solutions; with this latest offering, merchants can upload their entire product catalog and create targeted campaigns, or let Facebook automatically deliver the most relevant products to people.

Retail chain Target said it used Facebook Product Ads and saw a 20% increase in conversion compared to other types of Facebook ads. Facebook Product Ads also has the capability to turn off ads for specific products when they’re out of stock.

Facebook is exploring other ways to take advantage of online selling. Last week, it announced a new feature that makes it easier to buy and sell in Facebook Groups – “For Sale” group members can now choose the Sell feature when creating a post. This allows them to add a description of what they’re selling, add pricing, and set a pick-up/delivery location.

Facebook Product Ads are available now in the API through Facebook Marketing Partners and will roll out in Power Editor over the next few weeks. See the full announcement on the Facebook website.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.