Imagine if Picasso painted a search engine results page from Google. It would probably wind up looking like Facebook, which continually draws inspiration from search engines as it rolls out its services for marketers.
What Facebook did was take the classic search channels of paid search, natural search, and paid inclusion and adapt them to its own platform. Compared to search, Facebook’s ad targeting isn’t quite as precise as advertising to people who explicitly express interest with their queries. Yet compared to contextual advertising, Facebook offers the proposition of targeting to explicitly expressed interests on members’ profiles, and marketing is further amplified with the web of member connections often described as the “social graph.”