How Will Facebooks’ New Fan Widget Affect Ads?

How Will Facebook’s Fan Box Widget Affect Online Ads?: “

coke-facebook-fanbox Several weeks ago, Facebook launched a new “Fan Box” widget, allowing Page owners to add a widget to any website to turn visitors into Facebook fans. Since then, many Page owners have done just that, and are finding the Fan Box widget an effective way to grow their fan base.

However, as you may expect, some Page owners have been putting the Fan Box widget not only on their own websites, but also inside banner ads on other websites, encouraging ad viewers to fan the page in line through the Fan Box widget in the ad.

For example, Spongecell has created a new line of ads (see examples for Olive Garden, Jiffy Lube, and General Mills) that incorporate the Fan Box widget, and Spongecell CSO Marc Guildimann says conversion rates have been high – almost as many ad viewers are becoming a fan as clicking through to the advertiser’s landing Page in trials so far.

olive-garden-adHowever, it appears that Facebook is not terribly keen on new ad units like Spongecell’s that enable people to become a fan inside the ad. In fact, Facebook’s terms of service actually prohibit using the Fan Box widget in any ad at all. Section 6.12 reads, “You may not place a Fan Box widget in an advertisement.” Why?

According to a Facebook spokesperson, “We want Page owners to have an easy way to connect with fans both on and off of Facebook. In order to protect the the Fan Box widget from being used for the wrong reasons, we do not allow it to be used in third party advertising.”

While Facebook wouldn’t go into more detail, it’s safe to assume that Facebook wants to protect the “Become a Fan” experience from becoming too intertwined with aggressive online ads that it hasn’t approved. One can imagine the variety of ways advertisers could (potentially misleadingly) push users to become a fan in an ad unit on a web site, then pollute their Facebook stream later. Facebook wants more control over that experience, even if it means partially restricting growth for Facebook Pages.

However, it also means that high-quality ads, like those from Spongecell, are not going to become more common. Rather than having an outright prohibition on ads like these, we think it would make more sense for Facebook to allow trusted Page owners to drive more ad viewers to convert to Page fans in ads across the web – but Facebook doesn’t plan on allowing anyone to do so for now.

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Facebook Pushing Widgets To Share Photos & More

Facebook Pushes Widgets To Share Your Stream, Photos, And More: “

For a social site that is into sharing, it sure has taken Facebook a long enough time to embrace widgets. Sure, they launched a Fan Box widget back in July for companies and celebs with a Facebook Page, and a few other widgets before that. But how many peopel actually used them? Now, Facebook has a new widget center that brings them all together.

There are five widgets in all: a profile badge, a photo badge to share your Facebook photos elsewhere on the web, a Stream Box to share your stream, the aforementioned Fan Box, and a related Facebook Page badge. Like other widgets, you can embed these on your blog or elsewhere.

The live stream widget, of course, is my favorite. You can see what it looks like at right. There is an everyone tab and a Friends tab. The Friends tab is hwat I actually see in my stream when I log into Facebook. Now I can embed that stream anywhere and expose my view of my friends’ ramblings to a wider audience. In addition to reading the stream, you can comment and add likes to items from within the widget.

At least that is what it lets you do in the preview. I had trouble embedding the widgets in this post, which is why I resorted to screenshots except for the TechCrunch Page badge below (but that could just be an issue with the way we have WordPress set up on our site):

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And this is what the TechCrunch Fan Box looks like:

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