Facebook’s mobile business strategy may be taking another step later this month with the launch of app-related advertisements — ads that could be a boon for developers, but could also lead to more privacy-related scrutiny.
The Wall Street Journal cites “people familiar with the company’s plans” in saying that Facebook will give advertisers a way to “place ads for apps directly in a users’ News Feed on their mobile devices.” And it doesn’t matter if the user has expressed an interest in the company.
Facebook would charge companies every time an app is installed on users’ smartphones, one of the people said. Facebook can charge significantly more for an app installation than it can for the traditional cost of every one thousand people who have viewed an ad.
In what would be a typical scenario under the new ad product, if a user is a frequent player of social game maker Zynga Inc.’s Words with Friends, ads for other Zynga games will show up in that user’s News Feed on their mobile device, said the people.
We’ve reached out to Facebook for comment on the WSJ report and will update this article if/when we hear back.
The Journal says that Facebook may launch the mobile app ads on July 16th, ten days before its first earnings report as a publicly-traded company, but some Facebook execs are reportedly concerned about a privacy-related backlash because the ads are based on tracking what apps users have already downloaded on their mobile devices.
When Facebook went public earlier this year, it admitted that its lack of mobile monetization was a risk for the company’s long-term growth. Contrast that with Twitter, for example, which has repeatedly said that its mobile ads often outperform ads on the desktop.
Postscript: Facebook has declined to comment on the report for Marketing Land.