/// Hints of an Ad Network, but No Ad Network: First Facebook Ads Appear on Zynga.com
You may notice something different while goofing off at work playing FarmVille this morning: The first Facebook ads are appearing on Zynga.com’s in-game pages, marking the first time ever that the social giant’s ads have shown up on a Web site outside of its own. But more significantly, it’s also the first sign of a Facebook advertising network, one that extends beyond Facebook’s own site and across the Internet at large. It’s the same thing Google has done for years, and a long-expected next step for Facebook in its longer-term advertising strategy — one that has come under fire lately for being ineffective and lacking relevance . As for the new ads, which were first noticed by Inside Facebook , Facebook confirmed their existence, though it’s not clear whether or not the ads are appearing across all of Zynga’s games. And Facebook was quick to reassert its stance on privacy: “We don’t share any information about people or advertisers with Zynga and advertisers do not have any new targeting criteria,” a Facebook spokeswoman told me in an emailed statement. It’s not wholly unexpected. In Zynga’s S-1 filing last July , the company noted the possibility of a revenue sharing agreement where Facebook’s ads appear on Zynga properties. The new ads will indeed include a rev share , though we don’t know the exact amount (that part was redacted from Zynga’s S-1, unfortunately). The timing is peculiar. Earlier this week, Facebook killed Credits , the company’s proprietary virtual currency of the past year and a half. The extra layer of Credits meant extra friction for users, which often results in decreased spending.