Facebook to unveil new ad offerings

NEW YORK (AP) ? Facebook is set to unveil new, potentially lucrative advertising opportunities as a prelude to its initial public offering of stock. The idea is to lure big brands with the promise of effective, precisely targeted ads that reach the social network’s nearly 850 million users.

Facebook has invited marketers and journalists to an event at the American Museum of Natural History in New York on Wednesday. It’s a rare East Coast appearance for the Silicon Valley social site operator.

Though Facebook hasn’t said exactly what will be discussed, it is widely expected to release new ways to advertise on its website and possibly on mobile devices. Facebook has a vast trove of information about its users’ lives, hobbies, likes and dislikes, yet the company has kept advertising fairly unobtrusive to date.