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Facebook Advertising Proceeds with Caution

Facebook ad on iPadWhose afraid of the big bad ad unit? Facebook! In the last 24 hours, a number of stories have popped up on the web that show Facebook’s reluctance to ramp up their ad sales. Not that they don’t have good reason to be cautious. An advertising misstep could lead to a user revolt. But who thinks that would actually happen?

People are always saying they’re going to quit Facebook for one reason or another but what would it really take to get even a quarter of them to go?

Could auto-play video ads chase them away?

According to Mashable, Facebook has slowed the launch of their controversial video ad unit. It might be summer before we see these ads because Facebook is still studying the results of the ONE test they ran. Really? Or maybe they don’t have a lot of companies lining up to pay the estimated $1 to $2.5 million. Some say it’s a good deal because the ad will run at the top of every newsfeed. But remember, it’s going to run without sound so it will be easily ignored. Whose ready to take a million dollar marketing chance?

Facebook’s mobile ads are doing well but that doesn’t mean more ads are coming any time soon. Facebook CFO David Ebersman recently spoke at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference and TechCrunch has that story:

Ebersman replied that the company saw last year that mobile ads don’t just “continue to perform really well for marketers” but also have “a limited or negligible impact on engagement,” as shown in part by user surveys.

At the same time, he suggested that Facebook won’t increasing the quantity of mobile ads as it did in 2013. Even though “the number of ads in the News Feed is an important variable,” it’s not only one the company focuses on. He said Facebook will also be experimenting with things like the size and position of the ads: “All of this goes into trying to find the right balance.”

Goals for the next ten years; improving graph search so you can easily find what you need and “wiring up” everyone in the world. Easy peasy.

If you’re already eying Facebook’s new app Paper as a way of reaching your customers, forget it. . . for now. COO Sheryl Sandberg says they have NO plans to put ads on the app any time soon.

“It’s quite easy to see how ads could fit into [Paper] … but there’s no reason for us to do that right now — we’ve so much to do with the current monetizing of current products we have.”

What do you think? Should Facebook escalate their ad roll-outs or is this a case of slow and steady wins the race?