Facebook targets mobile app developers with new ad unit, as brain drain continues at company

9 Aug 2012

Facebook may be struggling to retain top talent since its May IPO – three more of its top executives have announced their plans to quit the Palo Alto, California-based company – but the social media giant has this week revealed it has created a new ad unit targeted at helping mobile app developers reach out to their users.

Facebook employee Vijaye Raji who migrated from Microsoft in 2011 to work at the social media platform, has written about the new ad unit on Facebook’s Developer Blog.

He wrote about how the ad unit would be a new way for mobile app developers to “grow their business” by helping them reach and “reengage” their users.

Apparently, Facebook is starting to test out the ad unit with what Raji termed a limited set of beta partners.

Then he went on to say that Facebook has become a way for iOS and Android developers to grow their apps.

“In the past 30 days, we have sent people to the Apple App Store and Google Play 146 million times, via clicks from channels such as news feed, timeline, bookmarks and App Center,” said Raji, before he went on to give a demo of how people can design and launch their mobile apps.

Facebook demo of how people can choose their app and audience
Facebook demo of how people can choose their app and audience

As for the post-IPO exodus of some of Facebook’s top executives, last week Katie Mitic, director of partnership marketing, and Ethan Beard, director, platform partnerships, announced they were parting ways with the company. They both cited a desire to become more involved in entrepreneurial activities. Mobile platform marketing manager Jonathan Matus is also set to leave the company.

In June, Facebook’s chief technology officer Bret Taylor declared he was departing the company, while in July open graph product manager Carl Sjogreen also revealed he was leaving for pastures new.

In July, Facebook announced its first results since it went public. While it posted revenues of US$1.1bn, the results showed Facebook was making losses of US$743m from operations and a net loss overall of US$157m. This was despite after reaching a milestone of 955m monthly active users – that’s one-seventh of the world’s population using the site.

Apps image via Shutterstock

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic