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Opera targets unsmartphones with Mini ad exchange

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Opera has launched its own mobile ad exchange, designed to serve ads on both smartphones and old school feature phones via its Opera Mini browser.

These ads will appear on webpages, but they'll be optimized for Opera Mini, which uses proxy servers to compress and deliver ads to more than 66 million handests worldwide, according to the company's figures.

The exchange is the result of Opera's acquisition of mobile ad outfit AdMarvel earlier this year. It offers AdMarvel-built analytics and reporting tools that allow advertisers and publishers to track the performance of their ads, which are embedded in webpages via Javascript.

Opera is particularly high on the platform's ability to target feature phones. "This is a large and untapped market with vast opportunities," says Opera man Haavard Moen. And in the end, Moen believes this is nothing but a good thing for all those Opera Mini users out there. "The announcement is primarily aimed at publishers and advertisers, but it is also relevant (and good news!) for users of Opera Mini," he says.

"We will now be able to increase the revenue coming from Opera Mini, which means that we get even more money to make it even better! Remember, a company like Opera needs to make money to survive (as we can't rely on being promoted by a monopoly, or funded by "sugar-daddies"), and running a service like Opera Mini can be costly."

For the uninitiated, that was a swipe at Microsoft Internet Explorer – and Mozilla's Firefox. ®

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