Facebook aims to intercept Twitter this Super Bowl with real-time ad targeting

Facebook launched Super Bowl hub.
Facebook launched Super Bowl hub.

The world's largest social network will be going after second-screen eyeballs during the big game

Facebook is playing Twitter at its own game this Super Bowl Sunday, with plans to target users with ads based on real-time conversations on the social network.

According to Reuters, Facebook’s plans include serving video ads that will autoplay in users’ Newsfeeds as they comment on the big-game action.

Driving online conversation around live events has long been Twitter’s strong suit, making the platform appealing to brands looking to engage fans with real-time marketing messages.

Oreo’s much-trumpeted "Dunk in the Dark" tweet during the Super Bowl two years ago, cemented Twitter’s status as the ideal platform for real-time marketing, and was the Tweet that launched dozens of replicas at last year's game.

This news places Facebook in closer competition with Twitter for those all-important second-screen eyeballs.  

According to Facebook, 50 million people joined the conversation on the social network during last year’s Super Bowl. But until now it would target its ads to users through demographics, such as location.

This year, Facebook has created a live news hub that will feature users' posts in real time while they watch the Seattle Seahawks defend their title against the New England Patriots.

The hub will enable users to watch and join in the real-time conversation around the event; keep up to date with the scores and action; and view posts from the NFL, NBC, teams and players, including video and photos.

Other digital updates to watch out for at this year’s Super Bowl include:

  • NBC will stream 11 hours of live content from the event free of charge, including the half time show and many of the TV ads.
  • YouTube is hoping the draw of its stars will steal eyeballs from Katy Perry with a rival halftime show, streamed live on the site.
  • NFL launched a global YouTube channel this week ahead of the game, which will feature game previews, in-game highlights and post-game recaps as well as clips featuring news, analysis and fantasy football advice.

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