The Real Reason Advertisers Will Love Facebook 'Home' Phones: Permanent Logins

Business Insider

The most surprising part of Facebook's launch of "Home" for Android phones was when CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted, "There are no ads in this yet, I'm sure that one day there will be."

That was a shock because the basis of Home is that the app takes over your phone's homescreen, displaying big bright photos from your friends that would normally appear in your Facebook News Feed. Ads appear there too, right now.

But the idea of picking up your phone and seeing an ad on the home screen — instead of an adorable pic of your girlfriend's French bulldog — seems like user-experience suicide.

In fact, the idea of ads on the home screen is probably NOT the most important aspect of Home for marketers.

  • Scroll to the bottom of this story for advertisers' reactions to Facebook Home.

Rather, it's the way that Home potentially creates an audience of permanently logged-in users who will become easier to target across devices.

For some time, Facebook has essentially been solving, almost by default, one of the trickiest problems in digital advertising: How to figure out who's who when users stop using their desktops and switch for a moment to their phones. Advertisers would love to be able to pull off cross-device targeting for the obvious reason that if you search for shoes on your laptop, and then look at your phone, it would be cool to be able to serve an ad onto your phone offering you a discount on shoes.

The problem is that the mobile phone environment lacks the abundance of cookies — bits of tracking code that your web browser triggers — that there is on the desktop web.

Facebook solves this problem because most users tend not to log out of Facebook once they've logged in. As long as they stay logged in, they become targetable, anonymous Facebook users wherever else they go on the web.

Of course, almost nobody ever logs out of the Facebook app on their phone, either. So it's potentially a lot easier for Facebook to know it's you as you move from device to device. (All targeting is done anonymously, by the way. The advertisers don't literally know you're Joe Smith; rather they'll know that you're one of hundreds or thousands of males interested in shoes who are also Facebook users.)

What Home achieves is to make Facebook the main user interface for the operating system of the phone. Facebook becomes your main home screen and your main messaging service. Home users will almost never log out.

And that's what advertisers really want: A permanently logged in, targetable audience.

If Facebook has any sense at all it will NOT automatically display ads to users on the Home screens. Rather, it will only show ads to users who have affirmatively opted in to receive updates in Home from advertisers of their choice.

I can't see myself wanting to see ads from Walmart on Home, for instance, but I might be tempted to allow ads from the restaurants near my house to reach me so I can know when they have offers and discounts.

Advertisers are, indeed, already salivating. Here are the reactions from two of Facebook's biggest ad buyers:

TBG Digital CEO Simon Mansell tells us:

"[Home] will be great for all those Facebook addicts and likely increase usage from them ... for advertisers, three things matter: photos, photos, photos — more evidence that pictures tell a thousand words with the image-based integration on the home screen."

AdParlor CEO Hussein Fazal says:

"The ability to double-click to "like" a post will effectively create more stories and build more data in the ever-powerful Facebook open graph. The more users are engaged with Facebook  – the more information they will create and share – and that results in more information that marketers will be able to leverage to target their advertising."

Robin Grant, global managing director at We Are Social:

"The most exciting development for advertisers is Facebook’s potential to use Home to keep track of a consumer’s location. Combine this with the Chat Heads and notifications features and the social network could deliver consumers location relevant and timely commercial messages."

Rob Jewell , CEO of Spruce Media:

“Facebook Platform has been widely adopted across standard websites but this 'social plumbing' has yet to be spread across mobile. Facebook Home is Facebook's biggest effort to date to extend the social experience across mobile devices.”



More From Business Insider

Rates

View Comments (1)

Recommended for You

  • Tycoon buys 30 Rolls-Royces for Macau hotel

    A Hong Kong tycoon has placed the biggest ever order for Rolls-Royce cars, agreeing to buy 30 Phantoms to chauffeur guests at a luxury resort he's building in the global gambling capital of Macau. Stephen Hung's $20 million purchase surpasses the 14 Phantoms bought by Hong Kong's Peninsula Hotel in…

    Associated Press
  • Accomplish your career goals

    At Capella University, you can learn the skills you need to succeed. Why wait another day? Get started today.

    AdChoicesCapella UniversitySponsored
  • Tycoon's arrest sends shock wave through Russia

    Tycoon's arrest sends shock wave through Russia MOSCOW (AP) — The arrest of a Russian telecoms and oil tycoon has sent shock waves through the country's business community, with some fearing a return to the dark days of a decade ago, when the Kremlin asserted its power by imprisoning the country's…

    Associated Press
  • Before You Buy Alibaba, Check Out 4 Top China Stocks

    Before You Buy Alibaba, Check Out 4 Top China Stocks While investors gear up for Alibaba Group 's (BABA) hotly anticipated initial public offering, don't forget about other Chinese stocks that are worth keeping an eye on. Today's Young Guns Screen of

    Investor's Business Daily
  • Costco Stores in Canada to Stop Taking American Express

    “The credit card relationship between American Express and Costco Wholesale Canada will not be renewed when it expires” on Dec. 31, the company said today in an e-mail to Canadian customers. The message was attributed to Lorelle Gilpin, vice president of marketing and membership for Costco…

    Bloomberg
  • "The Retiree Next Door": How successful retirees stretch their savings

    "The Retiree Next Door": How successful retirees stretch their savingsBy the time she hit her late 40s, Toni Eugenia wasn’t sure she would ever be able to retire. Eugenia, 56, a pharmacy technician who lived in Houston, was nearly $200,000 in debt and

    Yahoo Finance
  • As Fed takes baby steps, Cramer's trick for profit

    In turn, Cramer says making money in the market, involves looking at the environment through the lens of the Fed. "The trick is to remember that they speak for the common person," Cramer said. "The Fed wants the common person to make money." With that backdrop always in mind, Cramer says it becomes…

    CNBC
  • Play

    Citi, Bank of America Offer Discounted Mortgages

    Citigroup and Bank of America will offer mortgages at discounted interest rates to help borrowers with low incomes or subprime credit. AnnaMaria Andriotis joins MoneyBeat. Photo: Getty.

    WSJ Live
  • 1 Tip To Lose Belly Fat

    It's Hollywood's Hottest Diet And Gets Rid Of Stubborn Fat Areas Like Nothing Else.

    AdChoicesagoodcooksSponsored
  • CNBC Anchor Calls Out Fed-Hater Bill Fleckenstein In Startling Shouting Match

    CNBC Bill Fleckenstein of Fleckenstein Capital appeared on CNBC's Futures Now program on Tuesday. Futures Now host Jackie DeAngelis came out swinging, asking Fleckenstein right at the top if he was willing to admit that he had misunderstood monetary policy. Sounding taken aback, Fleckenstein…

    Business Insider
  • Beanie Babies creator's sentence debated in court

    Beanie Babies creator's sentence debated in court CHICAGO (AP) — Federal prosecutors seeking to put the billionaire creator of Beanie Babies in prison for hiding millions in Swiss bank accounts told appellate court judges Wednesday that the toymaker's sentence of probation threatens to erode the…

    Associated Press
  • Apple to unveil new iPads, operating system on Oct. 21 : report

    The company plans to unveil the sixth generation of its iPad and the third edition of the iPad mini, as well as its operating system OS X Yosemite, which has undergone a complete visual overhaul, the Internet news website said. Trudy Muller, a spokeswoman for Apple, declined to comment. The iPad is…

    Reuters
  • Gilead Stock Is Falling On These Drug Setbacks

    Gilead Stock Is Falling On These Drug Setbacks Gilead Sciences (GILD) shares are backsliding Wednesday on news that the patient drop-out rate for hepatitis C drug Sovaldi is quadruple that of clinical trials. In addition, the biotech's Phase 2 study results

    Investor's Business Daily
  • Margaritaville casino owners seek bankruptcy

    The owner of Biloxi's Margaritaville casino has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Tuesday, only hours before a hearing where the landlord aimed to seize the property. The filing by MVB Holding LLC in U.S. Don Dornan, a lawyer for landlord Clay Point LLC, said the company had planned to ask…

    Associated Press
  • Here's What Mark Cuban Wishes He Knew About Money In His 20s

    Cuban is the owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team. Billionaire investor and entrepreneur Mark Cuban is generous with his advice. When we asked him what he wishes he'd known about money in his 20s, he said:

    Business Insider
  • Norwich Information Security MS

    Online, accredited, top ranked. NSA Center of Academic Excellence. Recognized by the Department of Homeland Security. Download your free brochure!

    AdChoicesNorwich UniversitySponsored
  • Embraer to sell 50 E-175 jets to Republic in $2.1 billion deal

    Brazil's Embraer SA, the world's third largest commercial planemaker, said on Wednesday it booked a firm order from U.S. The deal, which will be included in Embraer's order book for the third quarter, is valued at $2.1 billion, the planemaker said in a securities filing. The planes will be operated…

    Reuters
  • SHOE COMPANY: Our CEO Just Disappeared And Most Of The Money Is Gone

    "and like that: he's gone." This is an actual headline from a company press release: "CEO and COO disappeared, most of the company's cash missing." (Via FastFT) In a statement, German-based shoe company Ultrasonic said its CFO,  Chi Kwong Clifford Chan, has been unable to reach the company's CEO,…

    Business Insider
  • Don't buy Alibaba stock: 'Dean of Valuation'

    Investors should steer clear of Alibaba , valuation expert Aswath Damodaran said Wednesday. On CNBC's " Fast Money ," Damodaran, a professor of finance at New York University's Stern School of Business, noted that he was looking at Alibaba stock from the perspective of a long-term investor, not a…

    CNBC
  • Play

    What the Fed Meeting Means for Bonds

    Janet Yellen & Co. are expected to hint at their timetable for raising interest rates. Here's how investors should prepare ahead of the meeting.

    WSJ Live
  • Billionaire Investor Says Chinese People Work Harder And Western Companies Could Face Deep Trouble After Alibaba IPO

    Michael Moritz, the chairman of VC firm Sequoia Capital, is a huge fan of Chinese internet companies and reiterated his enthusiasm for the Chinese market in an interview with The Wall Street Journal Wednesday. The billionaire investor described the Alibaba IPO as a “major landmark event” that is as…

    Business Insider
  • Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AEP, BHP, GE, Incyte, 3M, Tyco, Under Armour and More

    Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AEP, BHP, GE, Incyte, 3M, Tyco, Under Armour and More Stocks were firm on Wednesday morning ahead of the FOMC meeting outcome. Tuesday’s rally may have sparked higher interest again, and investors are looking for bargains

    24/7 Wall St.
  • Master's Degree in Nursing

    CCNE accredited MS in nursing in as few as 18 months online. Learn more today!

    AdChoicesNorwich UniversitySponsored
  • 6 Things Debt Collectors Wish You Knew

    The work debt collectors do is not popular, and has become increasingly derided by those who don’t like what we do or simply don’t know the facts about debt collection. Too often, debt collection is painted with a broad brush to create a portrait that isn’t accurate, and doesn’t properly educate…

    Credit.com