Will Facebook users start seeing ads from Facebook while they’re using other applications? The social network announced in a post on its Facebook for Business page that it is running a “small test” of Facebook ads in mobile apps, with “a small number of advertisers and publishers,” billing it as an effort to enable developers to monetize their apps and to expand reach for advertisers.
Facebook Tuesday began testing what may end up being the solution to its mobile advertising woes: The social network’s new mobile ad network is an experiment 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.
In a subtle yet significant upgrade, Facebook has quietly enabled application developers to begin granting access to Facebook advertising accounts which wish to target ads toward their users. In other words, Zynga, the developers of FarmVille, could grant someone from Coca-Cola access to the Facebook-owned advertising space which resides next to the application (as pictured below), or elsewhere on the site. So what does this mean for developers, brands, and ad networks? I’ll explain below.
The past two years have been an interesting ride as the Facebook Platform has become more restricted in order to protect the user’s experience. When Facebook first opened up there were countless ad networks and developers looking to seize the opportunity to make millions. Many have generated large sums of cash and a few continue to be extremely profitable to this day but what has been most interesting is watching Facebook carefully navigate the gray policy areas.