Facebook only started testing its mobile ad network in September, but has already pulled the plug on it. All Things D reports not only has the social network paused its plans to place its ads in third-party mobile apps, but it has also halted talks with various publishers about putting Facebook ads on their mobile sites.
“We are pausing our mobile ads test off of Facebook," a representative said. "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 big hold-up is apparently concern that the ads wouldn't provide a big enough return for Facebook or its partners to justify the endeavor. Considering ads on Facebook proper don't command a premium, the rates for third-party sites would be unlikely to generate sufficient revenue. While other ad networks get around such concerns by guaranteeing a minimum amount of revenue for their partners, Facebook has been focusing instead of increasing the partners' share of revenue derived from the ads.
A Facebook ad network has long been expected as part of the company's plan to monetize its massive user base and the amount of personal information it collects on them. Recent reports have it in talks to purchase Microsoft's Atlas ad technology platform to help realize that goal. Media intelligence platform Aggregate Knowledge has also been named as a potential acquisition for the social network.
Source: All Things D