December 21, 2014

Facebook Tests Running Ads on Other People’s Mobile Apps

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Facebook is testing a way to run some of its ads on other peoples’ mobile apps. Sriram Krishnan, mobile product leader at Facebook, says the company wants to help other app publishers develop a business model for their apps.

In a post recently on Facebook’s official Development Blog, Krishnan explains:

“Monetization is a difficult problem for mobile app developers, particularly as people move toward downloading more free apps and advertising dollars lag behind time spent on mobile. We faced some unique challenges when we first integrated ads into the Facebook mobile experience, and we believe we’re now well positioned to help other mobile apps.”

So this suggests that independent publishers would then profit somehow by running the Facebook ads. Krishnan hints:

“In this test, we’ll be extending Facebook’s rich targeting to improve the relevancy of the ads people see, provide even greater reach for Facebook advertisers, and help developers better monetize their apps.”

Krishnan describes the new project as essentially a mobile ad network in which Facebook would serve client’s advertisements on the apps of participating publishers.

A spokesman for Facebook told TechCrunch the company would use audience targeting technology based on data collected from its users to serve relevant ads on each app.

The spokesman told TechCrunch the new ads, when they emerge, won’t be labeled as Facebook ads. Rather, the idea is to use Facebook’s targeting technology to bring more relevant advertising to content across the Web.

Krishnan said the test is being run with a very limited group of participants. He said no further participants are being accepted at this time. He also gave no absolute timetable of when or if the new advertising program would be unveiled.

However, he suggested those interested in following the project’s progress should sign up to receive regular updates.

Facebook Photo via Shutterstock

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Joshua Sophy - Staff Writer


Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is a staff writer for Small Business Trends, covering technology and business news. He is a journalist and editor with 15 years experience in media. A former newspaper reporter and editor, Joshua also serves as President of the Board of Directors of a curling club and is editor of a regional newsletter focused on the sport of curling in the Eastern U.S.

7 Reactions

  1. I would have expected Google to have jumped into this, or have they already? Does Facebook not have any competition re: ads for mobile apps?

    Will be interesting to see how this pans out.

    (p.s.: does FB have an advertising platform for those who develop FB-based applications?)

    • Competition is fierce, but not entering the game means losing competitive advantage, IMO.

    • I agree. If they are going to integrate this into their app, then this totally puts Google out of the picture. I wonder how they will react. This means that Facebook can have complete control over their visitors.

    • Ivan, ah, so Facebook DOES have competition. OK. | For me, if the market’s really that competitive, that’s my cue to not bother. I’d rather go seek out something else while everybody’s busy climbing over each other. That’s just me though. I don’t begrudge the warriors that choose to fight in a busy market.

      Aira: time will tell. I don’t think the big G will give up that easy.

  2. For Facebook, it’s better than not trying. I’m sure they’re looking at ways to add more value to advertising through Facebook and likewise, advertisers are going to be looking at getting more in return.

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