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Facebook Advertising: 2012 Year in Review


As we all know, Facebook is constantly making changes to their platform. 2012 was a year that made no exception to this. Here are some of my favorite updates and changes, in Timeline format, that were made over the last year to the Facebook Advertising platform.

 January 2012

News Feed Sponsored Stories

Page Post Ads were the first to be in the News Feed. Because of the effectiveness of this launch, Facebook added in non-social ads to the News Feed that helped boost their ad revenue in 2012.

 February 2012

Timeline for Pages

Timeline began with the migration of personal profiles. Fan pages started changing in February, while all Facebook Pages were converted to Facebook Timeline in March.   This change allowed brands to promote specific milestones as well as receive and reply to inbox messages from fans.

Mobile Ads

Facebook announced that the future of ads would include the option for separately advertising Sponsored Stories in the News Feed on mobile phones. This was only available for premium advertisers, but mobile-only ads were launched to all marketers in June.




Facebook first let us know about Offers at the fMC Conference in February. Offers was launched in order to get promotions in front of the most important customers with one click. Offers was announced as a feature for premium advertisers, but was rolled out much more widely in May when people started noticing local coupons in the News Feed.

(photo credit to Saying it Social)


Reach Generator

Reach Generator was created to make sure your fans see your stories. This was also announced at the fMC Conference with claims that it would allow for double engagement with reach to 75% of your fans on a monthly basis. You can see some of the case studies that were mentioned at the conference from our recap of fMC. Since the launch of Reach Generator, it has been discontinued.

 March 2012

 Interests Lists

Since March, users can filter their News Feed by interest lists to share with others. These interest lists are compiled of groups pages and public figures.

(photo credit to The Verge)



April 2012

Optimized CPM for Ads

The Facebook Advertising Platform switched to action based reporting in order to help advertisers optimize and measure comments, shares, likes, new fans, app engagement, etc.

Preferred Marketing Developer Program

Facebook combined their Preferred Developer Consultant and Marketing API programs to create the Preferred Marketing Developer Program. This new program allows companies to build tools on top of the current Facebook platform. Webtrends was also recognized as a Preferred Marketing Developer in 2012.

(photo credit to Dell Community)



Promoted Page Posts

Facebook made it easier for page owners to advertise to their fans without having to create new campaigns within the main Ads dashboard.

(photo credit to Susan Jane Marketing)


 May 2012

Promoted User Posts

Officially rolled out in the United States in October, Facebook followed the model for fan pages onto personal profiles to allow user to promote their status updates.

Redesign Mobile Feed

Facebook launched a new design for their mobile app so the News Feed more closely resembles Timeline.

(photo credit to Inside Facebook)


 Scheduled Posts

Facebook gave page owners the ability schedule posts on their fan pages without using a third-party app.

 June 2012

News Feed Redesign

The desktop News Feed design was updated to include a larger view of photos and easier identified page posts.

App Center

App Center replaced the Apps and Games Dashboard and creates a way for users to sort via category and user ratings. Inside Facebook explains “There’s also an option for users who discover a mobile app from the desktop App Center to select “send to phone,” which will send a push notification that includes a link to Apple’s App Store or Google Play.”

Facebook Exchange Beta

Facebook announced a retargeting beta similar to Paid Search remarketing. Facebook Exchange (FBX) allows third-party platforms to place retargeting ads on the network after users visit external websites marked with cookies. FBX came out of beta in September 2012.

 July 2012

Sponsored Results

Facebook combined their predictive search bar with advertising with the Sponsored Results ads. Advertisers can bid on pages, apps, or places to promote their business on the drop-down search results.


Page Post Targeting

With this new feature, page admins were allowed to reach a specific subset of their fans on individual posts.

(photo credit to Mashable)


August 2012

 Mobile App Install Ads

Mobile app install ads allow developers to promote their apps in News Feeds. Developers can use all of Facebook’s robust targeting options to reach an audience that can just click to the app download page.

(photo credit to Facebook Developers)


 Custom Audience Targeting

Facebook now allows advertisers to upload email lists, phone numbers, or user IDs to for ad targeting.

(photo credit to Awareness Inc.)


September 2012

Facebook Gifts

Facebook released Facebook Gifts to allow people to buy their friend’s products. Many enterprise companies are currently selling items.

(photo credit to Mashable)


 October 2012

Global Pages

International brands now only have to maintain one fan page with Facebook’s “global pages.” There is a localized experience for fans from different countries since they are automatically directed to the appropriate region-specific page.

(photo credit to Social Fresh)


 November 2012

Mobile Share Button

As of November, users can now share status updates, posts, and comments!

(photo credit to Tech Radar)


Facebook Wi-Fi

Local businesses can now help their number of fans and check-ins by offering free Wi-Fi to customers once they’ve checked-in on Facebook. Find out more about Facebook’s free Wi-Fi hot spot.

 December 2012


Nearby allows users to see where their friends are based on recommendations, check-ins, etc. Nearby also populates different places and categories that a user is surrounded by to see what’s around them.

Poke App

This new release is a separate iPhone app from the normal Facebook app. This app allows users to “Poke” photos, videos, or messages to friends for a dedicated amount of time.


For a list of all of the releases and updates in 2012, check out Inside Facebook’s A Year in Review.

We’d love to hear from you! What are your favorite Facebook Advertising updates that were released in 2012?

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2 Comments on "Facebook Advertising: 2012 Year in Review"

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