Users of Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) in New Zealand – which was the first launch point for the “Timeline” on profiles back in December – have begun to notice some new things on their Facebook pages, or more specifically on their Newsfeed pages. A few users have noticed some advertising on their Newsfeeds they had not seen before 0 one is a fairly large display ad right in the middle of the News feed as the user opens the page, and skyscraper advertisements along the left margin. Is this another test by Facebook to find a new way to generate revenue for the beleaguered web site?
There has been no official word from Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) as to these ads, so right now the initial speculation is that these advertisements are just adware that has struck again. But why does adware strike like this now when it hadn’t before? One user who noted these ads showing up on his page noted that for a short period of time before the ads showed up, he was locked out and could not access Facebook.
That question has not been answered yet, either. A risk operations analyst at Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) once posted, “This is adware for sure. Facebook would never have banner ads placed in between newsfeed or on the left hand side. Uninstalling sketchy add-ons or extensions gets these ads off your Facebook pages.” However, this comment was reportedly later unavailable (perhaps removed). New Zealand is not an unusual place for Facebook to beta-test new ideas – when it rolled out Timeline last winter, Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) said that New Zealand was a productive market for such tests. “As a global company, we need to gain perspective and insights from outside the U.S. New Zealand is a good place to start because it’s English speaking, so we can read the feedback and make improvements quickly,” the company said then.
While several commenters on the original article believe this to be malware on the user’s computer, there is little doubt that Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) is facing a revenue issue and is actively pursuing avenues to generate revenue streams. This work is very important for Facebook investors like billionaire hedge-fund manager George Soros of Soros Fund Management.