Basically, before an ad campaign launches, advertisers can create two test groups: a control group of Facebook users who won’t see the ads, and a second group of users who will. Then, after the campaign runs, advertisers can compare the behavior of the two groups.
The new service move is just one way that the giants of the net—and a wide range of other companies—are working to show that modern technology can not only deliver ads in more pointed ways, but actually prove that people are responding to ads. Google, Twitter, and Adobe are the other big names here. But for Forrester analyst Richard Joyce, who closely follows the online advertising market, Facebook is uniquely positioned to track the success of ads, because it collects so much personal data about its users.
“This can be very powerful,” Joyce says. “It’s hard to create this kind of 360-degree view of the user without the kind of data that Facebook has.”