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Facebook tests real-time advertising

We’ve all experienced targeted advertising online, whether from pop-ups on web sites, e-mail messages or sidebars on a Google or Yahoo! search. We know that sites track our behavior and tailor messages to our patterns, but now Facebook is putting a new twist on the familiar practice.

Facebook is testing a real-time advertising system that would send advertisements instantly to your inbox any time you change your profile. Unlike previous campaigns, this would not only consider users’ search activity, but status updates, photo tags and more.

For example: If I were to go on Facebook now and change my status to, “Really in the mood for pizza tonight, who’s in?”, I might immediately receive a coupon for Dominos pizza.

“This is a massive market shift everyone is pivoting toward, led by services such as Groupon…so if Facebook is moving in this direction, it’s brilliant,” said Reggie Bradford, CEO of Facebook software and marketing company Vitrue.

Will real-time advertising finally give people relevant, instant, action-inducing ads, or will it take the annoyance of pop-ups to the next level? We will find out soon enough.