Facebook's potentially sprawling ad network is emerging slowly but surely. The company said it is conducting a "small test" serving ads in mobile apps outside of Facebook. The trial is an extension of one the social giant has been doing for the past few months on Zynga's casual games site.
A Facebook spokesperson sent ClickZ the following statement today regarding the test:
We are working on a small test in which we'll be showing mobile ads in apps off of Facebook. We've been showing web ads off of Facebook on Zynga.com for a few months now and we think that showing mobile ads outside of Facebook is another great way for people to see relevant ads and discover new apps.
In this test, we will be working with a small number of ad exchanges to help serve these ads on iOS and Android. These ads will be standard mobile ads that may point to the app store or a mobile website. Some of these ads will be similar to our recently announced mobile app install ads.
Facebook has begun partnering with several ad exchanges and DSPs recently, allowing them to target ads based on their own data on Facebook's website. However, that initiative has not included mobile inventory. Facebook must appease investors who are concerned the company will be unable to monetize its mobile audience enough to satisfy the market. The mobile ad test confirmed today appears to be a step in that direction.
The original iteration of the Zynga test has involved Facebook display ad units including Sponsored Stories being served on Zynga.com, the casual games site from the company behind popular Facebook gaming apps like FarmVille.
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Kate Kaye was Managing Editor at ClickZ News until October 2012. As a daily reporter and editor for the original news source, she covered beats including digital political campaigns and government regulation of the online ad industry. Kate is the author of Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media, the only book focused on the paid digital media efforts of the 2008 presidential campaigns. Kate created ClickZ's Politics & Advocacy section, and is the primary contributor to the one-of-a-kind section. She began reporting on the interactive ad industry in 1999 and has spoken at several events and in interviews for television, radio, print, and digital media outlets. You can follow Kate on Twitter at @LowbrowKate.
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