Watching Eureka’s S01, I had an eureka moment when I wondered now that Google is trying to invade Facebook’s home turf how can Facebook make a come back. As a company, Facebook has the talent and the resources to compete with someone like Google but being reactionary like Skype integration against Hangout isn’t a challenge.
This brought me to the horrible ad I was seeing and voila, why doesn’t Facebook do an Adsense competitor, they’ve got the Ad publisher dashboard setup and have tons of advertisers. I decided to look at some numbers and they are astonishing. According to eMarketer research, in 2011 Facebook is expected to have $4 billion in ad revenues worldwide. Yes, let’s a take a moment to reflect on the number.
Earlier this year, Facebook blocked Google Adsense and directed developers to opt for lesser known ad platforms. This move is probably the indicator of a possible Adsense competitor by Facebook in my opinion.
Unlike Google Analytics, Facebook offers a look at the traffic Facebook generates for websites at the same time, the Facebook comments plugin is a product that enables interaction to spread on Facebook and the website which theoretically could suggest that an advertiser can target a user or a set of users on both websites with similar ads. Google unfortunately cannot claim this as of now. (Google+ is ad-free.)
Facebook is known to get into popular segments like Deals, Places after other companies have carved a market. Entering into the ad space would be, as @tomwarren puts it, a natural fit for Facebook.
PS: I am not the first one to suggest this, Esteban Contreras also suggested this last month.