Updated with additional details

Two major developments today on the Facebook Marketplace advertising front: It’s now implementing “boost” ads, allowing individual advertisers to promote their listings to other Facebook users nearby, and it’s offering product ads to businesses.

Facebook boost ads are different from the typical boost or “top-up” ads on most classified sites, where they move listings back up to the top of the queue after they have naturally fallen due to new ad placements. At Facebook, boost ads let users move their listings into news feeds of  users within a 20-mile radius who are 18 years old or older. A Facebook spokesman told the AIM Group that over time, Facebook is likely to offer more closely location-based advertising, as well as other parameters.

Boost ads are being offered to “a small percentage” of Marketplace private-party advertisers, he said. Users who are given the “boost” opportunity receive a pop-up as soon as they place an ad. They can set a budget — as low as $1, even, he said — and time-length. No specific prices were set; pricing will be based on Facebook’s ad-auction system, and campaigns will be paused if an item is marked “sold.” The ads are shown to users chosen by Facebook through its algorithms, which will be refined to more specifically target the “boost” ads as users who see them click on them. No targeting by the advertiser is allowed; neither are political ads nor ads for political products such as an “Elect Politician X” t-shirt or sign.

“Many Marketplace sellers have told us that they want the ability to show a listing to more people in their local area, especially if they’re trying to sell it quickly,” Harshit Agarwal, a Facebook product manager, said in a company note to media.

“We’re starting to test a simple way for sellers to boost their listings and help them find a buyer.”

The launch of boost ads was first reported today by TechCrunch.

The business product ads were formally announced yesterday, but they launched quietly in January and we’ve already reported on them.

“Ads from businesses appear alongside other products and services in Marketplace,” the Facebook announcement said. “Businesses are already seeing results using ads in Marketplace.

“Thread Wallets, an accessories company, generated more than 300 purchases while increasing its year-over-year return on ad spend by 41 percent after adding Marketplace as a placement for its conversions campaigns.”

Facebook said it would roll out Marketplace ad placements to all advertisers in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand.


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