GENIUS? Facebook’s Mobile Strategy SHARED

In an attempt bring in increased mobile advertising, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) will allow marketers to pay individually for “sponsored stories” instead of forcing them to buy premium ad packages.

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“Sponsored stories,” currently the social network’s only mobile advertising product, let marketers pay Facebook to republish positive messages that users post about their brand. Earlier, Facebook only allowed such ads to be bought as part of a premium ad package that also included other forms of advertising, preventing advertisers from focusing only on the mobile market.

The company is also introducing Twitter-like “promoted posts” that allow owners of free brand pages pay to have more fans see a post. Facebook says this strategy ensures that 75 percent of fans see a post, up from the 16 percent through the company’s standard algorithm, according to the Wall Street Journal. Facebook will let brands pay for just one post at a time, with the fee based on a bidding process that will charge for per thousand ad views in the News Feed or per ad clicked on by a user.

“Facebook is always looking for ways to improve products and has responded to requests from marketers to control the placement of their sponsored stories,” the company said in a statement. “As companies are promoting services more frequently on mobile, this option gives them the opportunity to focus on specific placements that will impact them most directly.”

Advertising is extremely important for the company, with 85 percent of its $3.7 billion in revenue last year coming from it. However, ad sales declined in the first quarter of the year and mobile advertising has always been a weak point for Facebook, with the company confessing through a regulatory filing that it made almost no money from the platform despite more and more of its users accessing the social network through their mobile devices.

Facebook stock was up $.32, or 1.22%, to $26.16 in afternoon trading on Wednesday. The company’s market capitalization is at $55.85 billion, down from more than $100 billion when it went public last month at $38 per share.

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