Facebook touted the success of its Promoted Posts product and the general success of ads in the News Feed during its earnings call today, in which it announced Q4 financial figures that beat analyst estimates.
During the earnings call, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg announced that almost 500,000 Pages have tried Promoted Posts, the ad product that gives Page owners a chance to push a status update to more Facebook users. The costs depend on the amount of fans that a Page has, and can range from a few dollars to thousands of dollars.
Page owners big and small have complained about the Promoted Posts idea and the way that Facebook dialed down the natural reach of posts over the past several months, saying they shouldn’t have to pay to reach Facebook users that have already “liked” their Pages. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was one of the most vocal critics, tweeting his frustration at Facebook asking the team to pay up to $5,000 to promote one of its posts in November.
But Promoted Posts are obviously not going away, and Facebook says Page owners are adopting them in bigger numbers. Sandberg said that about 30 percent of Promoted Posts users are new advertisers and 70 percent become repeat customers.
Promoted Posts is still a small piece of Facebook’s overall revenue, though. Later in the call, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the company took in less than $5 million from things like Gifts and Promoted Posts.
News Feed Ads Outperform Right Rail Ads
The company also touted the general success of News Feed ads, saying that 65 percent of Facebook advertisers are now advertising there — up from 50 percent at the end of the third quarter.
CFO David Ebersman said News Feed ads are performing better for advertisers than display ads in the right rail. Based on data measurement done with Datalogix, Facebook says News Feed ads drive 8x more offline sales than right rail ads.
Though the conventional wisdom was that users might reject seeing ads proliferate in the News Feed, Facebook says it’s had a very small impact on overall user behavior. Zuckerberg said that putting ads in the News Feed only led to a decline of about two percent in “likes” and comments.
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