Facebook trials mobile advertising network for third-party apps and websites
At long last Facebook ads are heading to mobile but not in the way you might expect. Instead of littering the Facebook mobile apps and websites with targeted advertising, the social network intends to bypass its own mobile real estate altogether and offer their targeted ads to third-party sites and apps instead. Facebook have trialled this concept before, in a partnership with social games company Zynga, providing targeted advertising for Zynga.com. Testing is now progressing to a larger audience.
Any apps and websites that you have connected to via Facebook will eventually be able to tap into Facebook’s rich social graph data in order to serve you more relevant ads, based on your anonymous personal information. Just like the targeted ads you see on the Facebook desktop site, the system will take into consideration your age, located, gender, likes and interests, in order to provide third-party sites and apps with the the most accurate and useful ads possible.
It seems Facebook are taking a page out of Google’s book by creating an in-house equivalent to the Google AdSense platform. A platform that generates a substantial amount of the search giant’s revenue. With over 950 million users, many of whom are likely to use Facebook Connect to sign up to other sites and services, Facebook has a huge potential network it can leverage.
Keeping the Facebook experience clean and ad free, whilst still drawing in revenue from third-party mobile users, is an interesting and ingenious idea. Exactly how these ads will perform compared to those served by Google’s AdMob network remains to be seen. It’s early days for the platform, but this looks to be a promising strategy moving forwards.
Ever since Facebook’s IPO in May, pressure has been on to find ways to monetise Facebook’s mobile traffic, as many believe mobile ads will be the key to the social network’s financial success and stability in the long term. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder and CEO has been clear from day one that investors will not pressurise the company into making rash decisions in a bid to make a quick profit, which would to be to the detriment of Facebook’s core mission: ‘To make the world more open and connected’.
If this third-party advertising platform is successful, it could prove to be a very real danger to Google’s revenue stream, as it would draw revenue away from the search giant and into the pocket of one of its largest competitors. One that is determined to connect everyone on the planet to its platform and could one day challenge Google’s search dominance with a search engine of its own. If I were Google, I’d be a little concerned right now.
Leveraging the financial potential of Facebook Connect could prove to be the master stroke in Mark Zuckerberg’s plans to secure Facebook’s future for the long term, without damaging the company’s reputation.Tagged in: advertising, facebook, Facebook Connect, google, Google AdSense, mobile, Zynga
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