Less than a year after sponsored results were introduced on Facebook, the company has decided to remove them. Starting in July, advertisers – small businesses and big businesses alike – will be unable to advertise via sponsored result.
Facebook’s failed ad unit allowed people to put their company at the top of search results. For example, if someone searched for “eHarmony”, but OKCupid had paid for the top spot, OKCupid would be at the top of the search results, regardless of the search.
While the large social media company did find some success with this campaign, it simply did not generate enough income. This indicates that Facebook may still be having a problem with monetizing searches.
Part of the reason they are ending the ad program is because of Graph Search, a new way to search that will be released in a few months. Graph Search not only takes your search term into consideration, but your age, interests, location and “likes” on Facebook. Currently, Facebook is testing ad blocks on Graph Search’s results, though the ads are not currently targeted based on the query.
This is just one step in Facebook’s long decision to kill off sponsored results as a whole in addition to being part of “simplifying” advertising. Several other changes that have been made recently is the ability to “x” ads on your phone and on the desktop version as well as provide feedback on why you didn’t like a particular ad.
While this does mean that businesses will not be able to push their results to the top of your search, Facebook promises there will be new, more successful ways to get your business seen.
Photo credit: Facebook