Is Facebook Readying Its Secret Ad Weapon Vs. Google?

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From my Forbes.com blog The New Persuaders:

It looks like Facebook is getting ready to add a new button to let people signal not just what they “like,” but what they “want.”

Software developer Tom Waddington flagged the possibility on his blog on June 27, but we all just got around to noticing it yesterday and today. The button is disabled right now, and Facebook isn’t saying anything about it, but  Waddington thinks it could become the basis for a sort of universal wishlist that developers and sites could get access to.

This could prove to be a pretty big deal for a company whose challenge before and after its initial public offering has been persuading marketers–and investors–that its advertising works. Although many examples have surfaced that seem to indicate the value of Facebook ads, one central doubt remains, especially vs. Google, the king of online advertising: Can Facebook ads ever provide an indication of purchase intent that’s anything close to that of search ads?

A “want” button would add to the wealth of data about Facebook users’ interests, demographics, location and, yes, likes. Because it’s an indication of something people clearly desire, it gets a lot closer to the surpassing value of Google’s AdWords system, widely acknowledged by marketers as one of the most concrete indications of intent to buy, and buy soon. …

Read the complete post at The New Persuaders.

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