Facebook and Google are competitors in their social networks, but now Facebook is seemingly jumping further into Google’s advertising territory. External ads from the social network are appearing on Zynga.com — the first of their kind outside Facebook’s own domain.
The advertising appears once you’ve logged into Zynga.com with your Facebook account. It is otherwise unavailable. The advertisement I found appeared in the lower right hand corner, under my list of friends online. The ad showed my friends who “liked” that brand, and had a “sponsored” tag with the Facebook ‘F’ next to it. Zynga and Facebook have an advertising revenue share set up.
Facebook did disclose an agreement between the two companies after Zynga filed an amendment to its S-1 filing in 2011. Facebook told Inside Facebook that it had promised to help Zynga with external advertising in the future. At that point in time the social network didn’t reveal timing for the new advertising. The appearance on Zynga.com does, however, make it seem like the possibility of a home-grown Facebook ad network is near, if not obviously possible.
Advertising is Facebook’s lifeblood and the ability to expand beyond walls and news feeds is a huge opportunity to take revenue away from Google. Google runs its own advertising programs, such as AdSense and AdWords specifically for advertising on its search engine. There are also rumors that Facebook may expand beyond competing with Google in the social and advertising industries, but also in search.
An image posted by Mark Zuckerberg (see right) soon after the company announced its intentions to go public stirred these theories. The picture showed Zuck’s laptop with Facebook pulled up. At the top of the screen was a long, thin, white bar that greatly resembled a revamped search field. Altimeter Group analyst Rebecca Leib told Venture Beat at the time that she thought a Facebook search product could “have not only very tangible advertising benefits for Facebook, but also make Facebook a more compelling place for users.”
While no such search has yet been revealed, it’s safe to assume that Facebook will be competing with Google more deeply in the near future.
Copyright 2012, VentureBeat