"Mark has an evangelical approach to advertising," Martin Sorrell, chief executive of WPP Plc, the world's largest advertising agency told Reuters. "He sees Facebook as a vehicle to open up communication, not to monetize." Facebook's attitude toward advertising is finally changing. Users have started to notice, too. Today Facebook took that first step, claiming that sponsored stories for mobile will be coming "within weeks."
In its S-1 filing, Facebook described mobile as one of its biggest risk factors. Yet about half of Facebook's users visit the site through mobile devices. As more people begin accessing Facebook primarily through mobile, Facebook is going to have to make major changes in its mobile advertising platform.
As soon as early March 2012, Facebook will soon start dropping "featured stories" into users' mobile news feeds. Currently Facebook has 425 million mobile users. HTML5 app buttons have started popping up on Facebook's mobile site. A Facebook spokesperson confirmed with Reuters that Facebook will not work with an agency to create paid ads on the mobile platform.
When it comes to Facebook ads that are built around a user's data, questions about privacy laws come up. In fact, in its S-1 filing, Facebook noted the "evolving nature" of privacy and data protection laws as two major risk factors - not to mention the fact that Facebook doesn't have a mobile advertising platform. At least, not yet.
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