Facebook Ready to Launch Location-Based Mobile Advertising

Facebook has announced it’s working on offering location-based mobile advertising. The ads would be delivered to Facebook users based on their actual real-time GPS location. The offering means that advertisers will be able to release more relevant ads to users on their smartphones. For example, if a user is just blocks away from a Starbucks, Starbucks can serve an ad with specific copy related to the closest Starbucks location to that user.

The offering comes after much debate about Facebook’s ability to generate revenue as more and more users log in to the platform from their smartphones. Current mobile advertising opportunities on Facebook are limited, with ads just now being released in users’ newsfeeds similar to those on the side of desktop newsfeeds. I personally have yet to see a Facebook ad on my iPhone, but I’m sure that in the weeks ahead we’ll see a lot more.

I think this is a logical next best-step by Facebook, and I am all for location-based advertising, no matter how creepy it may seem. If it means I can get offers or information about a store near me, I’ll take it. The question is whether or not everyone else will appreciate it, or even notice it.

I think what really is killing the Facebook revenue model is that brands are seeing great results from the “free” media reach Facebook Pages allow them to have. Brands can easily reach targeted consumers that actually like their brands simply by sending out a marketing post that appears in their  newsfeeds- including in mobile devices. You can see from the screenshot below of my phone that brands are already “advertising” from their page posts on mobile devices.

In a way, the social media Facebook has created has very well become a problem for their revenue model. What Facebook must market to brands is that brands aren’t reaching all of their consumers through Facebook pages, and they need to increase their reach on Facebook using Facebook advertising.

– Bryan Nagy