At long last, Facebook
has finally unveiled a new mobile ad platform for app developers to grow their business and "reach and re-engage their users," the social networking site announced on its developers page. For the time being, only a select set of beta partners have access to the mobile ad network while Facebook works out the kinks.
"Facebook has increasingly 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," Facebook said. "Mobile ads are an additional way to drive people to apps. When a person clicks on one of these ads, if they do not have the app installed they will be sent to the App Store or Google Play to get it."
Those interested in participating in the beta are invited to sign up
and give it a whirl, and there's some obvious upside for app developers in doing so. But what about Facebook? The social networking site's stock has taken a beating ever since its initial IPO, and founder Mark Zuckerberg knows he has to tap into mobile to turn things around.
"Mobile is a huge opportunity for Facebook," Zuckerberg said during a conference call with analysts. "Our goal is to connect everyone in the world. And over the next five years, we expect 4 or 5 billion people to have smartphones."
Adding mobile ads might help boost investor confidence, but it's far too early to tell if it will be enough to turn things around. At present, Facebook's stock is trading at under $21, compared to its $38 IPO price.