FACEBOOK, the world’s most popular social networking site, is preparing to roll out a new wave of highly targeted adverts using data uploaded onto its users’ pages.
The site has been testing software that allows ads to read in real-time information uploaded onto status updates and wall posts.
Facebook is home to unprecedented volumes of information on its users, including their “likes” and detailed demographic data.
Analysts say this could make Facebook one of the most powerful marketing tools ever created, with ads even more tailored to its users than those featured on rival Google.
The California-based firm’s ad revenue is understood to have doubled to $2bn (£1.2bn) in 2010, and experts say it could double again this year.
Facebook has been valued at a staggering $50bn after Goldman placed a number of its privately held shares.
It is seen as the most powerful of a crop of unlisted technology firms taking Silicon Valley by storm.
Microblogging site Twitter is said to be a possible takeover target of Facebook, with an astonishing $10bn price-tag being discussed. And online deal site Groupon last year rejected a $6bn bid from Google.
Meanwhile, the never-ending story over who really owns Facebook has taken yet another twist, with convicted felon Paul Ceglia amending his claim that he should rightfully own half of the company.
Ceglia, who last year filed a lawsuit claiming he has emails proving Zuckerberg owes him 50 per cent of the business. A lawyer for Facebook dismissed the claim as “ridiculous”.