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Facebook Developing Mobile Ad Agency

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Facebook could be looking to leverage its huge mobile customer base and offer that to marketing companies keen to tap into its reservoir of consumer demographics.

While most advertising agencies rely to a degree on insights into the consumers they target for online advertising, most are constrained by privacy issues and a lack of direct data about the end user.

Facebook on the other hand is sitting on a goldmine of user information, and uses that to aggressively target online advertising, and is now reported to be preparing to make that available to mobile advertisers as well.

Citing people familiar with the development, the Wall Street Journal said that Facebook's new ad network won't increase the amount of data the company gathers on its users, but it could increase the amount of targeted ads Facebook users see across the mobile Internet. Users won't be able to opt-out of receiving the ads.

If successful, the service could boost Facebook revenues without increasing the amount of advertising it shows to users, as it would be taking a fee for every advert served on other mobile websites.

Market researcher eMarketer said Facebook took 18% of the $16.7 billion global mobile-advertising market last year, second only to Google's 53%.

Ad-agency executives said a Facebook network may draw more advertisers to mobile because of its tracking capabilities, which would be superior to that which is offered by Google at the moment.

That could also potentially end one of the biggest problems for website publishers, that mobile traffic is growing, but advertising revenues for mobile websites are exceptionally sluggish compared to their desktop equivalents.

End users also benefit in having fewer irrelevant adverts displayed.

On the web: Wall Street Journal

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Tags: facebook  mobile advertising