Facebook opens up mobile ads

MUMBAI: In an effort to silence critics about its ability to monetise its mobile platform, Facebook is now automating mobile-ad buying.

The company earlier accepted that monetising its massive mobile traffic is among its biggest challenges as its stock price continues to tumble.

Facebook has opened up its mobile-only sponsored-story placements to both its self-serve tool Power Editor and to third-party Facebook ad sellers. In the most basic sense it is a provision for mobile ads for the masses as it now enables clients who couldn‘t afford access to mobile-ad inventory earlier.

With this, the industry may see a new segment of advertisers emerge who want to target a specific audience like app developers or gaming companies aiming to increase user base on phones or marketers in industries such as quick-serve restaurants looking to reach people on the go.

Mobile ads are available on Facebook since March but the mobile-ad inventory largely accessible to big advertisers buying into premium ad packages, including those new ad placements called reach generator.

Reach generator was only open to advertisers with a minimum of 500,000 fans which could add up to total costs of $125,000 per quarter. The new changes have made Facebook mobile ads available to a larger pool of advertisers with any size budget. It also opens up Facebook mobile ads to small- and medium-size businesses that use the self-serve tool.

Advertising forms a major chunk of Facebook‘s $3.7 billion revenue. According to EMarketer 60 per cent of Facebook‘s ad revenue comes through its self-serve tool which will probably increase as Facebook opens up more ad slots to these sales tools.

Facebook had announced prior to its initial public offering that the consumers‘ appetite for its mobile app would soon exceed use of its website and could prove damaging to its business. At the time, Facebook was not generating ‘any meaningful revenue‘ from use of its mobile products.

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