The fledgling network, initially being tested in the US, will allow advertisers to target ads based on Facebook data to users on third-party owned sites and apps accessed via iPhone and Android devices.
The social networking company has not revealed which brands are taking part in the trial, which will allow targeting based on Facebook users age, gender, location and ‘likes’ in partnership with existing ad exchange deals.
The idea is that brands will be tempted into paying a premium to target ads using Facebook’s more sophisticated and detailed data rather than doing a cheaper deal direct with ad exchanges.
The move follows the social network’s decision to close down it’s ‘reach generator’ ad format less than seven months since it was launched in a bid to streamline its suite of marketing tools for brands.
The company said it is focusing instead on its recently launched Promoted Posts feature, which will offer a similar service and be available to all brands, after advertisers were reluctant to make the long-term commitment required for the ‘reach generator.’
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder and CEO, revealed last week that he is pinning Facebook’s future on its ability to perform well in search and mobile.
“We are working on a small test in which we’ll be showing mobile ads in apps off of Facebook,” says a spokesperson. “We’ve been showing ads off of Facebook on Zynga.com for a few months now and we think that showing mobile ads outside of Facebook is another great way for people to see relevant ads and discover new apps.”
The company is currently looking to hire a UK managing director.