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Sources Report Facebook Ready To Launch Mobile Ad Network

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Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) plans to open up a brand new revenue stream by launching its own mobile ad network, according to sources who spoke with Re/Code.

The company, which has been under pressure to build an ad network for some time, planned to announce the venture at its “F8” developer conference in San Francisco at the end of April, based on information from Re/Code sources.

The new revenue would come from ads pitched by Facebook to publishers and developers based on Facebook’s huge repository of information from its more than a billion users.

Related: Facebook's Future Lies in Mobile Advertising

By developing the network, Facebook would not depend on users being on one of its properties in order to grow that revenue.

The proposed move wasn’t much of a surprise given the fact that mobile ads generated $1.24 billion for Facebook during the final three months of 2013. That accounted for more than half of the company’s overall ad revenue.

Lots of Mobile Ad Networks

Meanwhile, Twitter (NYSE: TWTR), which just launched its own mobile ad network ahead of Facebook’s expected unveiling, hoped to lure advertisers using the same type of “in-house” data Facebook hoped to deploy.

Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) remained king of mobile advertising, but Twitter’s entry, along with Facebook’s expected move, meant the major tech companies saw tremendous potential in a market that more than doubled in 2013.

Twitter’s new MoPub Marketplace would allow marketers to display the same ads that appear on Twitter on more than a thousand other apps in the new publisher network.

Although details of Facebook’s proposed mobile ad network platform were not available, the company began experimenting in January with a small group of advertisers in the creation of a mini-mobile ad network.

Wired reported indications that Facebook’s experiment had been successful, leading to speculation the company would announce a full-blown version by the end of this month. Ben Legg, chief executive of AdKnowledge, which was working on the test, said recently he would not be surprised at an April launch.

Some in the advertising industry indicated they felt Facebook might pair announcement of its new mobile ad network with its earnings report due Wed. The company was expected to show strong earnings for the preceding quarter.

The mobile advertising market was valued at $18 billion in 2013 and expected to expand to $31.5 billion in 2014, according to research company, eMarketer.

At the time of this writing, Jim Probasco had no position in any mentioned securities.

Posted-In: AdKnowledge Ben Legg F8 Facebook GoogleNews Events Media Best of Benzinga

 

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