Report: Facebook to enter mobile ad space

Social networking giant looking into putting Sponsored Stories ads into mobile News Feed as it looks to create fresh revenue streams ahead of its anticipated initial public offering, report notes.
Written by Ellyne Phneah, Contributor

Facebook is looking to push into mobile advertising for the first time by end-March next year, which would give the social networking giant a new revenue source ahead of its much-anticipated initial public offering (IPO).

In a report by Bloomberg on Wednesday, two people with knowledge of the matter were cited as saying one of the ideas Facebook is considering is placing its Sponsored Stories advertisements, which feature friends' interactions with brands, within its mobile News Feed. Facebook's News Feed enables users to view status updates, photos and other content.

The company had originally planned to introduce the mobile advertising service earlier this year, one of the sources added, and the plan might be delayed again.

Facebook declined to comment, said Bloomberg.

The social network, with more than 800 million users, is increasing its focus on mobile technology as it aims to take advantage of the shift from smartphones to tablet, the report noted. Facebook expects its next billion users to come from mobile devices rather than desktop computers, it added.

Global revenue for the social platform will hit US$4.27 billion this year, up from US$2 billion in 2010, stated digital market research company eMarketer in an earlier ZDNet Asia report. It is expected to rake in US$3.8 billion from advertising worldwide, which is up 104 percent compared to last year's US$1.86 billion.

The company is also reportedly considering filing a US$10 billion IPO by end-2011, and this would represent the most funds raised by any tech-based IPO and value Facebook at more than US$100 billion.

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