Facebook launches Mobile Games Publishing pilot program

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Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) unveiled Mobile Games Publishing, a new pilot program offering select game developers promotional support across the social networking giant's mobile apps in exchange for a share of resulting revenues.

Facebook reaches more than 819 million monthly mobile users and more than 260 million gamers, and said it will leverage that reach to help drive mobile game installs. "With our unique targeting ability and mobile users who like playing a diversity of games, we'll help the right people discover your game," Facebook said. "We'll also share analytics tools and the expertise we've gained from helping games grow on our platform for many years."

Facebook Mobile Games Publishing is looking for iOS and Android titles across all genres and audiences. Developers may apply here. Facebook did not disclose the size of the revenue cut it claims in exchange for ad placements.

TechCrunch reports Facebook has already signed up around 10 developer partners, including startups Space Ape, Kiwi and Brainbow as well as more established publishers like Gameloft, a publicly-traded French firm valued at $652 million.

Facebook earns more than $800 million a year from payments and virtual currency transactions inside of social games across the desktop, but it has been unable to replicate that model on the mobile platform, where Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) claim a 30 percent cut of all in-app sales across their respective iOS and Android operating systems.

Facebook instead relies on advertising to support its mobile efforts: The social network reported second-quarter 2013 ad revenues of $1.6 billion, with mobile generating 41 percent of that total. Mobile game developers contribute to Facebook's bottom line by purchasing mobile app install ads that target consumers based on the apps and games they already access on their smartphones: Developers select their intended audience demographic, budget and method of payment, and Facebook inserts ads for their apps directly into targeted users' mobile news feeds.

Market research firm eMarketer predicts Facebook will capture 13 percent of the global market for mobile advertising this year, up from 5.4 percent last year. eMarketer nevertheless anticipates Facebook will continue to trail Google for the foreseeable future, predicting Google will command 56 percent of the mobile advertising market this year.

For more:
- visit the Facebook Developers portal
- read this TechCrunch article

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