Facebook, the biggest website in the world by amount of time spent, has started showing targeted advertising on ‘Groups’, the social network’s equivalent of forums.
The ads will be based on the interests of the user, Facebook said in a communication to group administrators.
The move marks the coming of age of ‘Groups’, which Facebook has largely been content to ignore.
Unlike Pages, which was hogged most of the attention of Facebook’s internal ‘monetization’ team, Groups do not lend themselves to easy monetization.
Administrators of Pages, for example, get lots of reminders about how they can increase the reach of their posts by having these artificially ‘boosted’ by paying money for the same.
This was a successful tactic as Pages tend to be run by people interested in making money themselves, such as companies, brands and celebrities.
However, groups are mostly managed and operated by teams of people who are interested in a particular subject and want to conduct discussions and debates on it.
While ad spots in some of these groups, such those on politics or cars and bikes, can easily be sold to advertisers, many of them — such as those on philosophy — cannot be.
However, Facebook seems to be readying to place ads in groups based on the particular user’s interests and background, much like it does on a user’s time line.
In run up to the decision, the social network has made some changes to Groups’ control panels, such as the option of including moderators in addition to administrators, and the ability of administrators to set a questionnaire for anyone interested in joining the group and so on.