Facebook test puts mobile game ads in your notifications menu

The social network has embarked on a new test program that would see ads for mobile games appear as notifications, says AllThingsD.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
Mobile game ads could start to appear among the notifications for Facebook game players.
Mobile game ads could start to appear among the notifications for Facebook game players. Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Your Facebook notifications menu might start sprouting ads if a new test ever becomes an actual feature.

Facebook is testing a program in which suggestions for mobile games would pop up in your notifications menu, AllThingsD reported on Tuesday. The suggestions would appear among the various likes, comments, and other notifications from your FB friends.

Before you start griping about yet more intrusive Facebook ads, you may be spared from this latest campaign even if it rolls out as an actual feature.

The mobile game suggestions are based on your existing game play, according to AllThingsD. So, if you play certain types of Facebook games, the ads would likely notify you of similar games. If you don't play any FB games, then you won't see the ads at all.

Still, the suggestions could prove irritating to game players who'd prefer to keep their notifications ad-free. Facebook should certainly allow users to turn off those particular suggestions just as they can currently turn off other types of notifications.

Of course, Facebook continues to face the ongoing struggle to squeeze out more advertising revenue via its network. So, the company needs to keep inventing ways to drive those ad dollars without ticking off its users too much.

For now, the test seems to be limited.

"We're always testing new channels to promote games," a Facebook spokesperson told CNET. "This is part of a small mobile distribution test we're running for game developers."

Updated 9:30 a.m. PT with response from Facebook.