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Facebook's New Ad Platform

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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THANKS FOR THE ADS Zuckerberg

With the November 6 D-Day of Facebook's new advertising platform approaching, speculation is mounting as to what, exactly, the Palo Alto-based company plans to unleash on its throngs of massively indebted users. Now, a source with knowledge of the proceedings tells Radar that Mark Zuckerberg's brainchild has invited nine industry-leading companies—Condé Nast, Nike, Apple, Sony, General Motors, Coke, CBS, Chase, and Verizon—to be "Landmark Partners" in the venture, each shelling out a minimum of $300,000 for the privilege.

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While the money is relatively small by Facebook standards, it is proof that Madison Avenue has faith in the new Facebook model, which will likely allow advertisers to target a specific segment of the Facebook population based on user-submitted data (say, by showing Nike sneaker spots to those who list "running and basketball" in their "Interests"). Other rumors persist that the new advertising model will allow Facebook to target users on non-Facebook sites, though exactly how remains to be seen.

The company—which is seeking an investment that would put its value at as much as $10 billion—is obviously keen to prove to advertisers that it can generate a Google AdSense-esque revenue stream. The launch of the new platform is seen as a significant step towards this.

A spokesperson for Facebook did not respond to inquiries.

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