Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) could soon launch its own advertising network for mobile devices, following other technology giants such as Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO), a new report said on Sunday.
According to a report from Re/code, Facebook is expected to launch the ad network at its F8 developer conference in San Francisco on April 30. However, the social networking giant is yet to publicly acknowledge the plans.
The ad network will help publishers and developers use Facebook’s huge database of user information to refine the audience for their advertisements. The ad network also means that users will see Facebook ads even when they are not on Facebook, iDownloadBlog reported.
Facebook, which currently sells ads for its web properties, generated $1.24 billion in revenues -- more than half the company's total advertising revenue -- from mobile ads in the last quarter of 2013, a development that reportedly influenced the company to take its ads to other companies’ properties.
In January, Facebook announced that it was working on selling ads on other companies’ apps. Sriram Krishnan, who heads Facebook's mobile products division and announced the company's move, described the plan as “more like a mobile ad network.” If and when it materializes, Facebook’s ad network could be a direct challenge to Google's AdMob and Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iAd mobile advertising platforms.
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Last week, Twitter Inc. (NYSE:TWTR) launched its own mobile ad network, called the “Publisher Network,” which is powered by MoPub, a mobile ad exchange Twitter purchased for $350 million in September.
While Twitter’s network is currently only available to a select group of advertisers through a private beta test, initial advertisers include Spotify, HotelTonight and SeatGeek, a ticket search engine, the Wall Street Journal reported.
According to eMarketer, mobile ad sales totaled $17.9 billion worldwide last year, an increase of 105 percent over the previous year, with Google grabbing a 49.3 percent share of mobile ad revenues last year. Facebook accounted for 17.5 percent, a significant jump from the 5.4 percent the company took home in 2012, CNET reported.
The worldwide ad network market is expected to grow another 75 percent to $31.45 billion in 2014.