EXILE IN SOHO — Despite my best efforts — a suit, Brylcreem, and a side part — I didn't convince a posse of ID-checking Outcast flacks to let me into Facebook's invite-only ad event at Loft Eleven in Hell's Kitchen. But insiders are still keeping us informed about the event, where Facebook is launching new targeted ad products for Madison Avenue's big agencies. Here's what a tipster tells us.
2:11 p.m. Eastern: "Security's crazy. Looks like Facebook brought their entire executive team. No sign of Zuck yet, but Gideon Yu and Owen Van Natta are around."
2:42: "Diff shoes." Zuck is in the house! Without Adidas sandals!
3:03: Seems our mole's gone quiet for the moment. S/he's a smart one so maybe our tipster is playing it safe for the moment.
Meanwhile, we'll fill you in on some details from Facebook's press release.
More details on landmark partners, which include Blockbuster, CBS, Chase, The Coca-Cola Company, Microsoft, Sony Pictures Television and Verizon Wireless and another "60 major consumer and Internet brand partners highlighted at the launch of Facebook Ads."
"Facebook Ads represent a completely new way of advertising online," the release says Zuckerberg will tell the audience in New York.
For the last hundred years media has been pushed out to people, but now marketers are going to be a part of the conversation. And they're going to do this by using the social graph in the same way our users do.
One way they'll do that is through Facebook pages. They're like user profiles for companies, something MySpace has been doing for a while now.
Another way is through "Unique Ads with Social Actions." These are the Social Ads. They seem to be ads that force users to spam each other. "Social Ads combine social actions from your friends - such as a purchase of a product or review of a restaurant - with an advertiser's message."
Facebook's wary of privacy concerns. "No personally identifiable information is shared with an advertiser in creating a Social Ad." Here's a whole new disclaimer:
Facebook has always empowered users to make choices about sharing their data, and with Facebook Ads we are extending that to marketing messages that appear on the site. Facebook users will only see Social Ads to the extent their friends are sharing information with them.
Why all the worry? Behavioral targeting, which Facebook is calling "Facebook Insights" is the big pitch.
Facebook Insights gives access to data on activity, fan demographics, ad performance and trends that better equip marketers to improve custom content on Facebook and adjust ad targeting. Facebook Insights is a free service for all Facebook Pages and Social Ads.
3:29: And our tipster returns to life! "advertisers are drooling. I think users will find it weird"