Facebook unveils mobile advertising service
Developers will be able to promote apps within customers' news feed, unrelated to their social activities
Published: 8 August, 2012
Facebook continues on its quest to make its huge mobile presence profitable and so placate a heavily disappointed investment community. Its latest plan is to allow developers to promote their applications in its news feeds, in return for a fee.
The social networking giant said the option would enable developers to target a specific audience segment and set a budget for their promotions, which will appear as sponsored items in a 'Try These Apps' section within a mobile user's news feed. If a customer clicks on the ad, they will be taken to Google Play or App Store.
This will be the first time that Facebook users will receive ads in their feeds which are not triggered by their own actions or those of their social circle, making the news feed an open advertising space. This certainly increases the monetization potential of mobile Facebook, which lacks the screen space of its PC version, and it should be attractive to programmers, delivering a huge audience and various reporting tools.
However, there must be questions over how much advertising customers will tolerate if it is not connected to their own preferences and social activities.
"We're announcing a new way for mobile app developers to grow their business with an ad unit that helps them reach and reengage their users," Facebook said in its statement. Mobile Ads for Apps, as it is called, is currently being tested with a limited number of partners.
"Mobile is a huge opportunity for Facebook," CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on the firm's recent earnings call. "Our goal is to connect everyone in the world. And over the next five years, we expect four or five billion people to have smartphones. That's more than twice as many people as have computers today."