Facebook mobile ads are on the way

Posted by Mark Raby

Before too long, if you want to update your status on-the-go you may be subject to a new advertising platform.

The publication Financial Times has reported that the social networking giant wants to begin offering mobile advertisements ahead of its initial public offering, which has been valued at $5 billion.

Facebook has reportedly already begun discussing deals with ad agencies. The way these ads will be portrayed is in the form of "featured stories." That is, an advertiser can pay for a piece of promotional text appearing in a user's news feed.

Facebook's IPO is expected to officially happen in May. According to the report, the mobile ad idea will come to fruition in March, giving the company a boost in revenue right before the big stock market deal happens.

Mobile advertising is something many are still trying to crack. Apple has its own platform that delivers ads in iPhone and iPad apps, and Google is working on integrating ads into the Android experience as well.

Meanwhile, Amazon broke the mold with its ad-supported Kindle units, which are cheaper than regular Kindles but interrupt the user experience with varied sponsored messages.

However, the consensus has been that no one is doing it quite right just yet. Facebook is hoping to emerge as the key player in this niche space, but it will be a challenge.