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Etsy

Facebook Launches "Friends of Connections" Ad Targeting

One of the biggest stories not heavily discussed this week was Facebook's new Ads Platform targeting of "Friends of Connections": "How do you find more fans for your Facebook Page, more people to interact with your Application, or more people to engage with your business? Target friends!

'Friends of connection' targeting is now available for Facebook Ads. Expand your audience reach by delivering your ads to the friends of people already connected with your Page, Application, Group or Event."

facebook connections ads

As brands and marketers focus energy, product and budgets on increasing their Facebook presence (fan pages, ads, etc), this is a very powerful lever.... particularly for brands with already-popular fan pages.

Consider that the average Facebook user has 150 friends (this is across all 350million users - so it is probably much higher for active users... who are most likely the people being targeted here. Let's say the average for a highly engaged user is 300 friends).

A fan page with 10,000 fans then has the potential to reach 150,000 - 300,000 fans. For a brand like starbucks that has 5,000,000 fans, this allows them to reach a hug percentage of active users... and in a socially relevant way.

Here is a screenshot of the targeting in action from AllFacebook. Notice that the social context of the ad (Your friend Rolland Lawrenz is also a fan).

Facebook describes the unit further:

"Let’s take a look at an example. Annie is a fan of the Etsy Page. When Etsy wants to promote their Facebook Page, they can choose to target an ad to Annie’s friends by selecting the 'Friends of connection' filter. Annie’s friends will receive the Etsy ad with the following sentence: 'Annie Ta is a fan of this Page.' Annie’s friends are naturally more interested because Annie’s interaction with Etsy is showcased directly in the ad. "

Targeted, relevant and dynamic - it's a terrific ad unit and another example of how Facebook's social graph is changing advertising.

Art.com's "Photos To Art" Printing is Terrific

In the web 2.0 conversations, Art.com is rarely mentioned - yet Art could be considered the Amazon + eBay of prints and posters. They have massive inventory, affordable prices, and have mastered shipping (think Amazon for large, fragile items). I have several framed pieces from Art.com in my home, but have always wanted to test their "Photos to Art" functionality. I uploaded one of my favorite photos and placed it on a 24x36 Matte Canvas. The painting came one week later and I was very impressed by the quality - especially considering that the total bill was $150 (after playing a 20% coupon I found online).

Art.com

A couple pieces of feedback:

* The options for sizing are limited - especially if you shoot photos on an SLR because there is only one large wide-'screen' print

* I opted for canvas with no frame. I prefer simple, single-color frames - Art's selection is too gaudy for me

* It is really difficult to gage the quality of the print. Art needs to improve their 'preview' functionality. $150 isn't expensive for a high-quality print - but I believe consumers won't spend more than $50 with open questions (quality, security, shipping, etc). eBay is a great example: buyers don't think twice for lower priced items (I don't even check seller feedback for items <$50) but, at a certain price point, buyers rethink all aspects (feedback, shipping costs, etc).

* Add community and affiliate revenue to the site... Now that I've uploaded and received my print, give me a simple "Add to Gallery" / "Sell Your Print" button. Let me set the price of my print, add it to Art's gallery and make money off my photos. Not only would I be excited as a 'seller' - as a buyer, I would actually prefer to buy other artist's work that standard prints (that's why I enjoy Etsy).