Facebook: ‘We Could Be World’s Biggest Site’; Considers Sensitive Ads

Facebook has picked the location for its forthcoming London office – it’s Soho Square – and, following a year in which the ex US college network became the zeitgeist amongst these shores’ late-twenty- and early thirtysomethings, shared local stats and thoughts on advertising with The Guardian:-

— The UK is Facebook’s third biggest market, giving it 5.2 million monthly unique users.
— It’s growing by at least three percent weekly or 200,000 users daily and has revised up its audience target from 40 million monthly users to 60 million by year’s end. Facebook’s doing some 60 billion monthly page views, each user viewing about 50 per day.
— Chamath Palihapitiya tells The Guardian: “We have an incredible number of page views and could become the most high-traffic site in the world. The thing is not to have as many ads as possible but to make them as essential and necessary as possible. And then it is not viewed as advertising, but as content.”

Nielsen//NetRatings metrics on July UK social networking, received yesterday, give MySpace a lead on 6.1 million unique monthly users, Facebook second on 5.2 million, ahead of Bebo (4.6 million), Windows Live Space (2.5 million) and even Friends Reunited (2.2 million). ComScore figures for the same month put Bebo ahead of MySpace and Facebook, which nevertheless grew traffic by 26 percent to 7.6 million to become the UK’s third fastest-growing site.

And from FT.com today: “(Facebook founder Mark) Zuckerberg demurs when asked about reports that Facebook is working on a system that would allow advertisers to target ads based on information that users reveal about themselves on the site. If successful, such a system could amount to the holy grail of social network advertising. Any such system would also raise privacy concerns. ‘This is kind of an annoying answer, but we