Facebook Cuts off Sponsored Search Results

Facebook to discontinue sponsored search results

Citing poor results for monetizing search queries, Facebook sponsored search gets the axe – much to the disappointment of many in the social media and internet advertising business. This is after less than a year since the ad unit was first introduced.

Although search has long been a priority for the social network, it would seem that Facebook is yet to master generating revenue through queries…

In an official statement, a company spokesperson said that the decision was made in keeping with Facebook’s goal of streamlining their ad services. Starting this month (July 2013), advertisers will no longer be able to purchase sponsored ads in the social network’s search results.

Similar to other internet marketing/online marketing ads seen on Google, the discontinued ad unit enables advertisers to target users making search queries in the social network.

Many in the internet advertising and social media advertising business think of a decision as a clear sign that the dominant social network is still having trouble making money out of user searches. This is despite the fact that the failed ad unit was modeled after Google’s – users type in queries for pages or apps and the search results returned can include sponsored ads from businesses that takes users to their company or business page.

Now it is likely that sponsored ads don’t simply go well with Facebook’s latest offerings like Graph Search – the social network’s very own search engine created for users making complex searches on people, interests, places and images. Facebook has reportedly been experimenting with ads on Graph Search although these ads are not yet targeted to match user queries.

Still, it’s a sad end to an offering that many once thought would spearhead Facebook’s efforts to compete with Google head-on for ad revenues. After almost a year, the dominant social network is still testing the waters of search monetization.

Graph search renews Facebook’s hopes of monetizing search queries but is still slated to roll out to a tiny fraction of users. It would seem that Facebook won’t be hitting the mark on search monetization any time soon.

What are your thoughts about Facebook’s decision to cut off sponsored ads and how is it going to affect internet marketing/social media advertising?

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