Facebook takes on mobile ads based on user locale

The social network is said to be testing location-specific mobile advertising, which could boost Nasdaq morale.

With mobile advertising becoming increasingly more important, Facebook appears to be amping it up. According to Bloomberg, the social network is developing a mobile ad product that uses real-time data based on users' locations.

"Phones can be location-specific so you can start to imagine what the product evolution might look like over time, particularly for retailers," Facebook's vice president of global marketing solutions Carolyn Everson told Bloomberg. "We've had offers being tested over the last couple of months."

When the company went public in May, people speculated that in order to keep share prices from falling, the social network had to figure out how to monetize its growing number of mobile users . The Securities and Exchange Commission also made it clear that the social network had to focus more on mobile. The company's shares have fallen 17 percent since it went public.

According to Bloomberg, U.S. mobile ad spending is projected to grow 80 percent over 2011 and is said to reach $2.61 billion.

"The holy grail of advertising is finding people when they are at their closest point to making a purchase," stock analyst Colin Sebestian, told Bloomberg. "Having some location-based element to advertising can be very powerful, and if you combine that with all the personal data Facebook has, the potential is enormous."

Facebook's ads for both Web and mobile are currently labeled "featured" and are included in users' news feeds or are "sponsored" stories on the right side of the Facebook home page. However, according to Bloomberg, Everson said that there has been "really significant interest" in mobile-only news-feed ads, which the social network started selling earlier this month.

About the author

Dara Kerr, a freelance journalist based in the Bay Area, is fascinated by robots, supercomputers and Internet memes. When not writing about technology and modernity, she likes to travel to far-off countries.

 

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