Report: Facebook ramps up mobile ad network

Facebook is planning to launch a mobile ad network this month, Re/code reports.

To leverage its vast database of user data, Facebook intends to pitch the ad network to publishers and developers at its "F8" developer conference held in San Francisco at the end of April.

More than half of Facebook's ad revenue, which totaled $1.24 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013, came from mobile ads.

Facebook and Google accounted for a majority of mobile ad market growth last year. The two firms saw net mobile ad revenues increase by $6.92 billion, or 75.2 percent of the additional $9.2 billion that went toward mobile last year, according to the latest stats from e-Marketer

"In the past, Facebook stayed away from building out an ad network because it was busy trying to sell ads on its own Web site ... now it can make money from its billion-plus users even when they're not on Facebook's own properties," says Re/code.

In January, Facebook said it was trying out ways to sell ads on other firms' apps, "like a mobile ad network," Re/code explains.

Facebook will be competing with Google's AdMob mobile ad network, Twitter, which is linking its MoPub ad network to its ad buying platform, and smaller players such as Millennial Media.

In 2012, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg undertook a major overhaul of the social networks mobile efforts with a goal of making the firm into a "mobile first" company.

The latest mobile move is Facebook's efforts to offer users a mobile payments option. The firm is expected to get an e-money license in Ireland soon that would enable users to exchange money on the social networking site, according to Ovum mobile payment expert Eden Zoller. Mobile payments are "gaining good traction with consumers, particularly in emerging markets where Facebook has ambitions to be the prime platform from which people access, and interact with Internet services," explains Zoller.

For more:
- read the Re/code report
- check out the e-Marketer stats

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