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Facebook tries out its ads on other mobile apps

The social network places advertisements on third-party apps, not just its own, as part of a test to see how Facebook users will react.

Donna Tam Staff Writer / News
Donna Tam covers Amazon and other fun stuff for CNET News. She is a San Francisco native who enjoys feasting, merrymaking, checking her Gmail and reading her Kindle.
Donna Tam
To increase revenue from mobile devices, Facebook has been inserting advertising into the news feed more aggressively.
Facebook has been inserting advertising into the news feed more aggressively. Now, Facebook is doing a test run of ads that will show up on other mobile apps, not just Facebook's.

Facebook has started testing a new mobile ad network that can place advertisements outside of Facebook based on user data.

That means some users may start seeing ads -- ones that may link to the Facebook app store or a mobile Web site -- on mobile apps outside of Facebook. The roll-out includes a small group of ad exchanges that will place ads on iOS and Android.

"We are working on a small test in which we'll be showing mobile ads in apps off of Facebook," a Facebook spokesperson said today. "We've been showing web ads off of Facebook on Zynga.com for a few months now and we think that showing mobile ads outside of Facebook is another great way for people to see relevant ads and discover new apps."

This method of advertising is similar to what Facebook did a few months ago with its Web site advertising. The network began placing Facebook ads -- which looked like Facebook's Sponsored Stories -- on Zynga's Web site.

Facebook's been harped on for not having a solid plan when it comes to making money off mobile users, but the company says it's been getting more aggressive with advertising. This latest move on mobile advertising could be the start of a powerful ad network backed by volumes of personal data -- if users are open to seeing Facebook ads targeted at them even when they aren't on the site.