Facebook gets its ads together

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NEW YORK -- Facebook on Tuesday launched a pair of targeted advertising initiatives, with Blockbuster, CBS, Sony Pictures, Coca-Cola, Fandango, eBay and Verizon among the initial partners.

Facebook Ads will serve more targeted marketing for Facebook users based on demographic data and interests and will allow companies to launch their own pages on the social network. The platform also will let users recommend brands and products to others on the network.

The other initiative, Beacon, will allow Facebook users on 44 participating Web sites, including Fandango and eBay, to share their purchasing information with other users through those sites.

The announcements were part of a presentation in Midtown Manhattan featuring site's founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and come a couple of weeks after Facebook announced $240 million in financing from Microsoft, which valued the company at $15 billion.

Also at the event, Zuckerberg announced that his company has reached 50 million users.

On Monday, MySpace, Facebook's News Corp.-owned rival, launched two targeted advertising services of its own. SelfServe is designed for small business, bands and politicians to purchase ads for MySpace users based on demographics and interests, and HyperTargeting will allow marketers to buy ads "targeted to specific interest-based segments" of the community.
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