Facebook plans major changes to ads platform, including mobile

14 Dec 2011

Facebook is working on two exciting new developments that could transform its online advertising capabilities. The social network is expected to launch mobile ads in March and is also working on a new premium offering that lets pages send coupons to fans.

According to various reports, Facebook will launch its mobile advertising strategy in March by putting Sponsored Stories ads into the mobile News Feed alongside users’ friends’ status updates.

This move would bring the social network into direct conflict with both Google and Apple, which is aiming to drive forward its iAd strategy.

Future Human

According to Bloomberg, Facebook, which has more than 800m users, expects its next 1bn users to come from mobile devices rather than desktop computers.

At present, some 350m users access Facebook via their smartphones.

Facebook to get into the coupon business

In related news, Facebook is also hard at work testing a new premium ad system that will allow pages to send coupons to fans and then use that post as an ad unit on the Facebook homepage, according to the Inside Facebook blog.

Users who see the ad or page post can click on “Get Coupon” and they’ll then receive an email from Facebook with the coupon and an option to share with friends.

In this way brands like Starbucks or Budweiser, for example, will be able to send value directly to Facebook users in the form of discounts or free beverages.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years