Facebook hit a major milestone today when it announced that it had one billion montly active users. In honor of that achievement, Facebook also kicked off its new ad campaign with its first “brand video.”
The ad, which was included on a blog post written by Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is entitled “The Things That Connect Us,” and it compares Facebook to other things that help bring people together, such as chairs.
Yes, chairs. Also doorbells, airplanes, bridges and games.
Zuckerberg writes that Facebook’s first brand video is meant to “express what our place is on this earth.”
“We believe that the need to open up and connect is what makes us human. It's what brings us together. It's what brings meaning to our lives,” Zuckerberg wrote. “Facebook isn't the first thing people have made to help us connect. We belong to a rich tradition of people making things that bring us together.”
The campaign is going to be targeted toward Facebook users in 13 different countries: Brazil, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines, Russia, Spain, the UK, and the US. The ad will be translated into 12 different languages.
Academy Award nominee Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, whose films include Amores Perros, 21 Grams and Babel, directed the ad.
Why start advertising now?
Facebook has made numerous moves lately to expand its advertising strategy.
It began running sponsored stories on Zynga.com; introducing ed new mobile ads for apps, which allow app developers to advertise on News Feeds on Facebook’s mobile app; announced that it would be creating a its own mobile advertising network to increase revenue from advertising; it confirmed last month that it would be creating a system where its formerly free Offers program would suddenly cost businesses money if they want to run the offers in user News Feeds; and yesterday it said that it would be letting its users pay to promote their Facebook posts.
This is the first time, though, that Facebook has started an ad campaign from the other side, by selling itself. So why start doing that now, especially when the company just hit such a major user milestone?
The reason became clear last month when it teamed up with Myriad Group, which develops services for feature phones. Facebook wants to open up in new markets, and it is going to use its mobile service to do it.
Myriad was chosen by Celcom in Malaysia, Indosat in Indonesia and Mobilyin Saudia Arabia to bring social mobile messaging services to 70 million users through its text-based Myriad Updates service. By partnering with Myriad, it would bring Facebook to millions of new users in previously untapped markets.
As I noted earlier today, the future for Facebook is mobile.
Facebook saw its mobile monthly active users (MAUs) increase by 67% in the year from June 30, 2011 to June 30, 2012, according to a document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday.
In June of this year 102 million Facebook users accessed the site exclusively through the mobile app or mobile website, a 23% increased from the 83 million who did the same during March.
Facebook may have one out of every seven people on the planet accessing its site every month, but that doesn't mean it is going to stop there.
Check out the ad below: