Facebook Plans to Launch its Long-Awaited Mobile Ad Network

Facebook is expected to launch its mobile advertising network during the F8 developer conference in San Francisco at the end of this month. Facebook plans to leverage its massive user information database for better ad targeting, and will pitch the ads to publishers and developers. The social giant will also benefit from expanding its ad reach, and will allow the company to profit from its over 1 billion users even when they are not on the site itself.

This has been a long time coming, since many people inside and outside of the company have wanted Facebook to build an ad network for the past few years. Facebook announced this past January that it was experimenting with ways to sell ads on other companies’ apps, and described the test as similar to a mobile ad network.

Facebook was initially reluctant to create a mobile ad network because it wanted to capitalize on the ads it sells on its own website, and did not have any mobile ads of its own.

According to Re/code, “that has changed dramatically in the last two years. In the last three months of 2013, mobile ads generated $1.24 billion for Facebook — more than half the company’s overall ad revenue.”

Approximately 50 percent or more of that revenue stems from “app-install” advertisements, which prompt users to re-engage with apps they have already installed or download new apps.

Facebook’s competitors have also starting to initiate mobile networks, including Google’s AdMob mobile network and Twitter’s MoPub ad network.