Those of you looking forward to Facebook rolling out the mobile ad network it’s been testing can just keep looking forward for now. Though the test is wrapping up at the end of the year, the social media firm has no plans to expand it anytime soon, as first reported by AllThingsD and confirmed by Marketing Land.
“We are pausing our mobile ads test off of Facebook,” reads a statement from a Facebook spokesperson. “While the results we have seen and the feedback from partners has been positive, our focus is on scaling ads in mobile news feed before ads off of Facebook. We have learned a lot from this test that will be useful in the future.”
The roadblock to the mobile ad network appears to be inventory — as in, there’s too much of it to make selling it very valuable, yet. Instead, the company is focusing first on monetizing the newsfeed in mobile Facebook apps and building up the technological infrastructure to enable that monetization. Facebook also needs to start justifying its $1 billion investment in Instagram by selling mobile ads on that app.
AllThingsD says Facebook’s talks with publishers about joining an ad network have also been put on hold for now. Meanwhile, the company is said to be in talks to buy the Atlas ad server technology from Microsoft — technology which might help Facebook in any future network efforts.
The company doesn’t seem to be ruling out the possibility of an AdSense-like network in the future, but it’s just putting its priority on packaging and selling what it already has, rather than expanding its offerings to ads off its properties.
Facebook will continue to sell and serve ads on partner Zynga, via a relationship which began earlier this year.
Industry-watchers have long expected Facebook to launch an AdSense-like network, a move that makes a lot of sense given Google’s success in the area and Facebook’s treasure trove of data that could be used for targeting.