Facebook said it will only permit developers to monetize their applications using ads from third-party networks it pre-approves. The move is designed to give Facebook the ability to more closely control advertiser content that users are exposed to through the site.
The social network has introduced a list of ad providers that have agreed to its Platform Terms for Advertising Providers, which other ad networks must agree to before running ads in applications on the site.
"Developers must only use services from companies that appear on this list, any other provider is prohibited," the company said, adding, "We hope that by providing this list of companies that have acknowledged their commitment to advertising quality that we can all foster a better user experience."
To date, the list of 14 approved providers includes RockYou, Underdog Media, and Tapjoy. Interestingly it currently omits Google's AdSense and SocialVibe's network, which runs ads alongside popular Zynga games including FarmVille and Café World.
Those networks must agree to the advertiser terms to continue serving ads into applications, Facebook implied. Since the terms have only just been introduced, however, it's unclear when or if Facebook will begin enforcing the requirements. At present ads from SocialVibe are still appearing in FarmVille, for example, despite the fact the network is not yet an approved provider.
Facebook has faced criticism this past year for allowing applications to transmit user data to other third parties and advertising partners. The new terms suggest the company is hoping to keep closer tabs on the way its users' data is being used.
The company attracted the attention of U.S. regulators earlier this year when news emerged that users' Facebook IDs were being transmitted to advertisers through various applications.
The terms now appear to expressly prohibit the transfer of that type of data, requiring an approved ad provider to ensure that "it does not use any data received (directly or indirectly) from Facebook. The Advertising Provider further certifies that it does not possess any data obtained from Facebook, including user data, Facebook User IDs or usernames, and agrees to prevent the receipt of such data in the future."
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Jack Marshall was a staff writer and stats editor for ClickZ News from 2007 until August 2011.
March 19, 2014