A report in AdAge says Facebook is taking a huge step toward real-time advertising. The social network has been testing real-time ads with 1 percent of its users, totalling about 6 million people.

The ads are based on data mined from real-time conversations. Talking about a product in a wall post or status message will trigger certain ads to appear on a user’s page. For example, a user posting that he or she is in the mood for a particular kind of food might see an ad for that kind of restaurant appear on his or her profile after publishing the post.

The report said that this new advertising system expands Facebook’s marketing potential, as it looks at information beyond a Facebook user’s stated likes. Plus, serving up quicker ads gives advertisers the chance to leap on the window of time in which users are making buying decisions.

Facebook currently uses information from user profiles to target ads, but this is the first time it has experimented with delivering ads this quickly.

"The long-held promise of local is to deliver timely, relevant and measurable ads which drive actions such as commerce, so if Facebook is moving in this direction, it's brilliant," said Reggie Bradford, CEO of Facebook software and marketing company Vitrue told AdAge. "This is a massive market shift everyone is pivoting toward, led by services such as Groupon. Facebook has the power of the graph of me and my friends placing them in the position to dominate this medium."

As the comments on the article point out, to some this seems a bit like digital eavesdropping combined with spamming — not a pleasant combination.

What do you think? How much attention do you pay to Facebook ads in general?

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