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Facebook Now a New Marketing Ground for App Developers

By SiliconIndia   |   Friday, August 10, 2012
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Bangalore: Facebook, the social networking website has declared that it will now include advertisements from mobile app developers in its mobile news feed.  This will help app makers in promoting their apps and in return Facebook might be able to improve its revenue. Facebook plans to add a “Try These Apps” feature that will contain advertisements from mobile app developers, in the news feed section of mobile users. When a mobile user clicks on the sponsored ad, he will be redirected to the Apple App store or Google Play store.

Facebook engineer Vijaye Raji said in a blog post, "Today we're announcing a new way for mobile app developers to grow their business with an ad unit that helps them reach and reengage their users. Facebook has sent people to the Apple App Store and Google Play millions of times, via clicks from channels. Mobile ads are an additional way to drive people to apps."

Developers will be charged according to the number of clicks on their ads. They will have the option of selectively targeting the mobile users by choosing the advertisements on the basis of previously downloaded apps by the user. Facebook is encouraging developers to sign up for the beta test. However it is still not clear when Facebook will officially provide this service to all advertisers.

Ryan Kim points out in his article on GigaOM that “it’s the first time mobile users will see ads in their feed that are not triggered by their actions or those of their friends. It opens up the news feed as an advertising space that any developer can target, whether or not they have a relationship to a user or not. That may encourage investors who have been worried about Facebook’s revenue plans, especially as more traffic moves to mobile where ad space is limited. And it will likely cheer developers, who continue to look for ways to distribute and market their apps.”

Dan Olds, an analyst at Gabriel Consulting Group thinks, "This is a double-edged sword. If the ad frequency is too high, users will protest and, over time, will use Facebook less on mobile devices. If it's not frequent enough, then there might not be enough impressions to make it worth the money for advertisers."

Facebook has a vast consumer base and with the new era of mobile internet, its mobile users are rapidly increasing. It can easily provide a huge audience to developers. But we cannot ignore the fact that users accessing Facebook from their mobile might get turned off by these advertisements. The question is, with this step will Facebook pick up its revenue or scare off its mobile users.

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