Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) is widely expected to announce a new mobile ad network tomorrow, one that would reportedly compete against the likes of Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG) AdMob and Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) iAds. "We are in very early testing for a mobile ad network," confirmed Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg in a recent call with investors. "We do see an opportunity here to improve the relevance of the ads people see on and off Facebook. It's really the early days and we're in the early testing stage."
And mobile app developers are clamoring for the new network from Facebook.
"It will have a massive impact," said Michael J. Becker, a consultant with mobile marketing firm mCordis. "Most ad network targeting is very limited when it comes to demographic and interest-based parameters. Many networks have created 'interest channels' based on the content of the website, which is a decent proxy, but Facebook has direct data on the interest of the user. This is huge, because most advertisers want an audience first, then they apply the context to increase the relevance in ad messaging. Facebook would provide the first method of doing this at true scale."
For more on the potential impact of a Facebook mobile ad network on mobile app developers, check out this FierceDeveloper special report.