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A lot of the discussion during Facebook’s earnings conference call today revolved around all the stats that the company offered about the fourth-quarter performance of various ad units. However, Facebook executives also talked (in a very general way) about their ad plans for 2013, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg saying that the company will be both improving its ad targeting and launching new formats.
Asked what kinds of formats we can expect, Zuckerberg pointed to what he said is one of the company’s longtime design principles: “We want the organic content to be of the same basic type of format as paid content.” Advertisers, meanwhile, usually want “really rich things like big pictures.”
There’s a tension there — in fact, this is a constant theme from Facebook employees who argue that traditional advertisers need to adjust their thinking to build campaigns that work on Facebook, rather than demanding that Facebook copy existing ad formats. The big ad on the logout page is Facebook’s main concessions on this front.) However, Zuckerberg said that the company has been incorporating “bigger pictures, richer media” in the news feed, so it makes sense for ads to follow suit.
He also pointed to Facebook-acquired Instagram as a product that includes an immersive mobile experience, and he said he wants to “offer those abilitites for advertising as well, so you can deliver much more engaging advertising experiences.”