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Facebook starts testing mobile ad network using personal user data
Facebook starts testing mobile ad network using personal user data
By: iMedia News Bureau

Facebook has taken another small step towards building a web-wide ad network by putting  a strong fight with Google and Apple for mobile-ad revenue.

Facebook has launched its mobile ad network in which advertisers can target mobile users of the social network with ads for applications or websites based on their Facebook data generated from their visits to other apps or mobile sites. The news was first reported by TechCrunch.

The launch of mobile ad network in beta follows Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s comment last week about mobile being a bigger platform for Facebook’s ad business than the Web. 

The social network is offering advertisers the ability to target their campaigns based on user information and activity. The move from Facebook clearly depicts that the social network is trying hard to maximize its potential revenue from mobile advertising, something it had trouble doing in the past.

The company is working with an undisclosed number of ad exchanges to deliver the ads on iOS and Android devices for its advertisers, who can still target using Facebook's array of options such as age, location, education and interests.

Facebook said that it was testing a “very small number” of ads on third-party apps and mobile websites on Apple’s iPhone and Google Android smartphones.

In June, it started placing ads on social games site Zynga.com, the social games site on Facebook. The same month, it introduced the Facebook Exchange, which lets marketers target customers and prospects with ads on Facebook using their own data, not just Facebook’s.

According to an eMarketer estimate, Facebook is on track to bring in $72.7 million in mobile-ad revenue this year, compared to Twitter's heftier projected $129.7 million. However, the future could be rosier for Facebook, which eMarketer predicts will be the second-largest seller of mobile ads by 2014, after Google.