[Update:] The original version of this story said that Facebook had made Sponsored Results more broadly available. The company has since launched the product and provided VentureBeat with a new statement.
Facebook released its type-ahead search ads called “Sponsored Results” today, the social network confirmed to VentureBeat.
Sponsored Results are the latest advertising offering from Facebook. The desktop-only placement is an embedded ad unit displayed within the list of type-ahead search results on Facebook.com. Advertisers can use the units to reach Facebook members when they’re searching for Pages, places, or applications.
The social network started testing the placements last week with a small number of advertisers, such as Zynga, EA, and Disney. Facebook today made the new sponsored unit available to all advertisers; they can now purchase the Sponsored Results in the Power Editor tool or API.
“We have launched a feature that surfaces sponsored results along with the organic results when people are looking for things on Facebook. We try to show people apps and pages they’ll be most interested in,” a spokesperson told VentureBeat.
The Facebook representative added that the company is still collecting feedback from users to determine the best user experience for Sponsored Results.
Some marketers received an email notification of the unit’s availability this morning, as noted by TechCrunch and InsideFacebook.
Sponsored Results are available to advertisers on a CPC and CPM basis, though they must bid on objects and not keywords. Advertisers can create 70-character messages that appear alongside organic results, and they can target against Facebook Pages, places, apps, and subscribe-enabled users. Facebook members can “X” out the ads to remove them.
While the desktop-only units won’t solve Facebook’s mobile monetization woes, they do give the company a new and potentially lucrative space to display ads. The search ads, which could be likened to the sponsored listings searchers are accustomed to seeing on Google or other search engines, should bring out the competitive sides of marketers, gamemakers, and even small businesses, as they can bid against a competitor’s Pages, places, and apps and redirect a person to their own Facebook entities.
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