About half of Facebook’s 845 million users access the site using a mobile device. So it has long been questioned as to when we could expect ads on the mobile version of the site. After filing for an Initial Public Offering, which is valued at $5 billion, the time has come to expect Facebook to tap into its huge mobile following for extra revenue before the official IPO happens in May.
As a potential pitfall, Facebook admitted in its IPO paperwork to generating little to no revenue via mobile devices. While Apple has its own platform that delivers ads to iPhone and iPad users, and Google is pushing towards integrated ads for Android, the consensus is that the mobile ad arena has yet to be met with success. While many expect Facebook to meet the challenge, nobody knows exactly how the social media giant will integrate ads with its mobile site.
Facebook does have a huge edge in what it can offer to mobile marketers, and that’s its wealth of customer information that can be used to create better targeted ads. Marketers can also use Facebook’s friendships to influence mobile advertisements, as users can ‘like’ certain brands and pages that will be seen by friends.
As with most changes that Facebook makes, the introduction of mobile ads will probably spawn protest by many users. But given its huge popularity and usage, it’s more than likely that users will quickly grow accustomed to the mobile ads and continue checking in, updating their statuses and uploading pictures– all of which can be converted to sponsored stories for brands that appear in users news feeds. With a little creativity, we believe that Facebook mobile ads will bring about another new source for businesses to effectively promote their businesses.
We can expect to learn more about mobile ads on Feb. 29 when Facebook will hold an event for marketers in New York (which we, of course, will be filling you in on). In the meantime, we’d like your opinion. Do you think Facebook will be able to take advertising on mobile devices to the next level? Will mobile users be deterred by online ads, or embrace them? How about you? Let us know in the comments below.