Services & Software

Yahoo testing app-install ads similar to Facebook's

To try and rack up advertising revenue from mobile developers, Yahoo is testing an ad unit that would be familiar to Facebook users.

It looks like Yahoo is taking a page from Facebook's advertising playbook.

The Sunyvale, Calif.-based company is testing ads on its mobile properties that prompt users to download apps onto their devices from third party developers. It's the same idea as Facebook has with its app-install ads, which appear in its own content feeds.

"We're testing in-stream ad opportunities with an initial group of advertisers who have mobile apps and want to connect directly with audiences across Yahoo mobile apps and sites. The purpose of these native ads is to help brands drive downloads of their mobile apps. These tests will begin to appear across all of our properties where in-stream ads run on iOS and Android devices," a Yahoo spokesperson told CNET. News of the ads was first reported by AdAge.

It makes sense that Yahoo would try to glom onto Facebook's advertising success. In 2013, Yahoo lost its spot as the No. 2 digital ad seller in the United States behind Google, when none other than Facebook took its position for the first time, according to the research firm eMarketer.

In the latest quarter, Facebook announced that over half of its advertising revenue came from mobile, while in the same period, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said her company's mobile revenue is "not material."

Update, 3:12 p.m. PT: Adds comment from Yahoo