Thursday, December 27, 2012

Facebook Halts its Ad Network Before it Ever Gets Off the Ground

Picture of a guy saying stop!
Facebook’s highly anticipated ad network has been put on the backburner, for now anyway.  The ad network, when (and if) it does get off the ground, is said to be much like that of Google’s Adsense network, and would likely generate substantial income for users.

Facebook launched a test earlier in the year that placed its own ads on the mobile apps of other developers.  According to sources, discussions that had been ongoing between Facebook and publishers regarding running ads on publishers’ mobile websites have been put on hold as well.  Ultimately, it looks like the ad network, which many marketers have been patiently waiting for, won’t be launched anytime soon.
Brandon McCormick, Facebook spokesman, said via email that “We are pausing our mobile ads test off of Facebook.”  McCormick went on to say that feedback and results had been positive, their primary focus is on scaling ads in mobile news feed.  He said that the testing had allowed them to learn a lot, and that test results will be useful to Facebook in the future.
The concern seems to be that Facebook isn’t prepared to deliver ads on external websites which are significantly valuable for either the ad network or its partner.  Considering that the ads on the Facebook site continue to command rates that are relatively low, this is thought to be one part of the equation, and a stumbling block between Facebook and potential partners.
Google and other networks have propelled their ad programs off the ground in the past by guaranteeing a certain amount of revenue to publishers regardless of how their ads perform.  However, this is a step Facebook has yet to take.  According to one publisher who has been in discussions with Facebook about running the company’s ads, Facebook has discussed the possibility of what they describe as a “generous” revenue split.
It’s been assumed for years that Facebook would someday launch an ad network similar to Google’s Adsense network, and someday they probably will – but that day isn’t today, and doesn’t seem to be on the horizon, either.  However, don’t give up hope; Facebook is currently involved in deep discussions to acquire the Atlas ad tech platform, a Microsoft product.

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