Feeds

Facebook pokes devs' wallets: Mobile app ad beta launches

You will download Angry Birds... bitch

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

Desperate to squeeze money from its mobile users, Facebook is trialling mobile-app advertising, auctioning news-feed slots to the mobile developer who bids highest.

The adverts for the devs' creations will appear in news feeds of mobile users and link directly to the relative app stores, iTunes or Google Play. Facebook reckons that it already sends 146 million people in that direction every month – via the news feeds of users 'Friends' as well as by way of the social network's App Center, so Zuck's firm might as well try to make some money from the process.

Mobile developers are being invited to register for the beta, which will allow them to bid something in the region of half a dollar per click. It will also let them specify their daily budget – along with the gender and even the region (creepily sourced from those who have location services switched on in their mobes) of those to whom they wish to advertise.

Facebook users are increasingly going mobile, putting them beyond the reach of traditional advertisers, so the company has been struggling to find a way to "monetise" them. Advertising mobile applications must seem like easy money, but one has to wonder how much money there is in that particular pot.

Mobile app advertising has, hitherto, largely been funded by developers made misty-eyed by breathless media reports of execution stacks paved with gold, each hoping to embody the American dream with their own variation on Space Invaders.

These days we all know that vast majority of mobile apps don't make any money, selling in insignificant numbers, and those few that do are based on brands which drive adoption. Facebook's best hope is probably apps tied into services, like Barclays PingIt or Amazon's Kindle, though such apps have largely limited themselves to traditional advertising.

It seems that even Rovio isn't even bothering to push mobile ads out to its Angry Birds titles anymore, though the occasional ad pushing the company's paid titles will appear.

Making punters pay for stuff seems to have returned to fashion.

But not for Facebook, which has to provide its services for free, and thus needs advertising revenue to pay for it. Ads for mobile apps might do it, but hopefully Zuckerberg has another strategy or two to make Facebook pay. ®

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs
Zero, not infinity, is the Magic Number customers want
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
NBN Co execs: No FTTN product until 2015
Faster? Not yet. Cheaper? No data
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.