Opera gets into mobile advertising

Opera turns an earlier acquisition of a mobile-ad company into a new advertising service for its mobile browsers.

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Mobile-browser maker Opera is set to announce today that it's dunking a toe into the mobile-advertising sea. Opera's new Open Mobile Ad Exchange service is a cloud-based ad platform that will work with publishers to place ads onto mobile-browser pages.

While Opera is shopping the pages of its Opera Mini browser first, the company hopes to carry its advertising service to other mobile browsers. The service works by embedding JavaScript into the Web pages that Opera serves; however, the ads will not appear in the Opera browser interface itself, only the page contents. Opera is calling its service a sort of network of ad networks because it's open to advertisers, agencies, and other ad networks.

Opera Mini reaches 66.5 million users, according to Opera.

Opera's advertising initiative represents the browser maker's first foray into advertising, and is a move that won't surprise those who followed Opera's acquisition of mobile-advertising company AdMarvel in January.

When asked how consumers might respond to the appearance of advertisements in Opera Mini, Opera co-founder Jon von Tetzchner told CNET that "there will be ads where you're used to seeing ads," and added that helping ad publishers make money on page views is the company's goal with this project.

You can learn more about Opera's Open Mobile Ad Exchange service here.