After a five-year absence, Facebook is launching a test of ads in search results on its mobile app that will appear both in its primary search function and its Marketplace e-commerce section.
This means that users in the U.S. and Canada will see ads on the search results page when using the mobile app.
Facebook did not share screenshots of what the results will look like saying that the exact design is still evolving. If the test run goes well it may expand search ads to more countries in the future and likely be sold to advertisers in an auction-style bidding system similar to what it does for its other ads on the platform.
The moves is designed to address both the slowdown in revenue growth as well as shrinking real estate in the News Feed ad space.
Capitalizing on Growing Search Space
According to a report by the IAB search advertising accounted for nearly half of the $49.5 billion generated in digital ad revenues in the first half of 2018. People most commonly associate search advertising with Google, but it also used by a number of other platforms including Pinterest, Yelp and Amazon.
Facebook is no doubt anxious to capitalize on the segment.
For now, it’s still a “test”.
“We’re running a small test to place ads in Facebook search results, and we’ll be evaluating whether these ads are beneficial for people and businesses before deciding whether to expand it,” Facebook product manager Zoheb Hajiyani told TechCrunch in a statement.