As investors demand more profit out of Facebook, the social network has opted to start charging businesses to run Offers. The move turns “a previously free service into a potential revenue generator at a time when Wall Street is demanding new sources of growth and profit from the company,” Reuters writes.
That’s right, what was free will soon cost merchants at least $5 on related ads to promote each Facebook Offer to a targeted audience of fans and friends of fans.
“The advertising requirement shouldn’t come as any surprise,” according to TechCrunch. “Facebook is very focused on growing that part of its business, and so giving Offers as a free (or virtually free) product was never going to be long for this world.”
“Facebook has been under tremendous pressure to monetize its massive user base through advertising or any other means ever since it went public,” writes Techie Buzz.
“It also makes sense for Facebook to more closely integrate all of its commercial activities -- and after all coupons are simply another form of marketing and advertising,” TC adds.
“Advertising underlies a lot of what Facebook is working on and that focus has been adapted to run on its Offers platform too,” The Next Web writes. “Campaign managers must now create an advertisement with their Offer, running them for ‘a minimal budget,’ but they are now a requirement for any brand or business looking to run a new Offer.”
Facebook launched Facebook Offers earlier this year, letting retailers and other local merchants send deals to their Facebook fans. Users can claim the offers from their News Feeds and redeem the vouchers at stores to get discounts.
Yet, “since Facebook went public in May, the company has been under pressure from Wall Street to show how it can turn its giant social network into a money machine,” Reuters adds. “Facebook shares have lost about 40 percent of their value since the IPO.”