Facebook’s mobile ubiquity and push for always-on location sharing came to fruition today with the launch of hyper-local advertising that could convince people to visit stores they’re nearby. Soon, brick-and-mortar businesses will be able to target ads to anyone who lives or was recently within a specific distance of their store. Advertisers can set a radius as small as a mile and the ads will show up on people’s phones or web browsers. These new Local Awareness ads will be available for US business owners in a few weeks, and around the globe in the next several months.
In addition to its new mobile Audience Network, Facebook today also launched a new advertising type for business owners: local awareness ads. Local awareness ads are rolling out to US advertisers “over the coming weeks” and globally “in the coming months.” As is usual for new methods of making money, Facebook is being cautious so it can tweak its idea if advertisers and users don’t react well. As the name implies, the new ads let marketers target users who are physically nearby. Businesses can find new customers by showing ads to groups of people in the neighborhood. Facebook claims local awareness ads are more cost-effective than traditional advertising channels like newspapers and flyers, plus they offer “more precise targeting and greater reach.” While local businesses get yet another way to reach people nearby, Facebook says the ads are also a great way for its users to discover places of interest in their area.
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