Facebook is testing ads inside another new section of its app.
Facebook has found another place to show advertisements to its users.
The company announced on Friday that it will start running ads inside Marketplace, its Craigslist-style hub where users can buy and sell used goods.
The ads are just a test for now, which means only a small percentage of U.S. Facebook users will see them. Facebook is not even selling ads specifically for Marketplace just yet — instead, it will take existing News Feed ads and put them inside the Marketplace tab free of charge to advertisers, as a way to experiment.
“We are starting a small test that shows ads to a small percentage of people using Marketplace in the U.S. and will evaluate the response before determining how we move forward,” Michelle Bonner Techel, product marketing manager at Facebook, wrote in a statement shared by a spokesperson.
The ads will look and feel the same as ads you see in News Feed. The key difference, though, is that users don’t go to News Feed looking to buy products like they do with Marketplace. You won’t be able to buy products directly on Facebook through the ads, though. Instead, clicking on an ad will bring you to a landing page specified by the advertiser, a spokesperson said.
Facebook launched Marketplace last fall as a way for people to buy or sell goods more easily to others in their local community. The early reviews have been mixed, with some complaining that the section, which has prime real estate inside Facebook’s app, features a lot of terrible products. It’s unclear how many deals materialize from Marketplace, but millions of items are posted there each month.
There must be enough traffic to the tab, though, that Facebook sees value in running ads there.
Facebook makes almost all of its revenue from advertising — just under $27 billion in 2016. But the company has recently started to tell investors that it is running out of room to put ads in its core moneymaker, News Feed. As a result, Facebook has started to test ads in a handful of new places, including its standalone messaging app Messenger.
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Author: Kurt Wagner
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