Facebook pulls back on crucial external ad network

Facebook might not be diving into the external advertising business as quickly as people hoped. The company is rolling back a series of tests involving Facebook Ads appearing on other mobile ad networks.

A spokesperson for Facebook told VentureBeat in an email, “We are pausing our mobile ads test off of Facebook. While the results we have seen and the feedback from partners has been positive, our focus is on scaling ads in mobile news feed before ads off of Facebook. We have learned a lot from this test that will be useful in the future.”

Facebook has a lot of advertising products on its plate with Sponsored Stories, ads in its own news feed, Facebook Ads, a test on Zynga.com, and probably more. The company might be backburner-ing the product while it prepares other technology, with the intention of returning to it.

Shareholders might not be happy about the change. An external advertising network that takes advantage of the wealth of data Facebook has about its users was a promising revenue generator. Rumors recently circulated that the company was teaming up with Microsoft’s Atlas Solutions to build an external network. The Facebook spokesperson declined to comment on the partnership, saying Facebook does not comment on rumors.

As mentioned, the company also experimented with ads on social gaming company Zynga.com. There, the ads appeared in the lower corner, and show which of your friends have also liked a game you are currently viewing. It seems like the Zynga tests are not yet being shut down, which suggests Facebook isn’t giving up.

hat tip All Things D, Advertising image via Shutterstock


Mobile developer or publisher? VentureBeat is studying mobile app analytics. Fill out our 5-minute survey, and we'll share the data with you.