Facebook Tests Mobile Ads

Facebook is testing a system that allows it to place adds on its mobile apps based on user-data collected from the social network.

Currently limited to the US, the test involves information from a user’s profile being read in order to direct advertising which will appear within apps and on the Facebook page when viewed via a mobile browser.

Facebook has struggled to make money from its mobile apps, despite the enormous number of users accessing the social network through smartphones and tablets. Of the network’s estimated 900 million global users, almost half regularly use Facebook on their phone.

The new mobile adverts will consist of banners and fullscreen ads, with Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of the social network, having ruled out the use of a sidebar as seen on Facebook’s web presence.

Speaking at a technology conference in San Francisco recently, he said “We’ve had right-hand-column ads and it’s been great, a multi-billion-dollar business.

“But on mobile, we can’t do that. It’s clearly going to have to be different.”

Facebook has also reassured users that data used for targeting ads will be encrypted, ensuring that advertisers cannot trace clicks from their websites back to users profile pages.

Over the last fortnight the company’s share price has risen by around 23%, having fallen to less than half of the value it could boast when it was floated on the stock market in May.

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