Facebook, owner the world's largest social network, says it's working on a location-based mobile-advertising product that will allow companies to target users with real-time data showing their whereabouts.
"Phones can be location-specific so you can start to imagine what the product evolution might look like over time, particularly for retailers," Carolyn Everson, Facebook's VP-global marketing solutions, said in a telephone interview. "We've had offers being tested over the last couple of months."
Facebook's shares have dropped about 19% in the month since the company's initial public offering, partly because of concern that ad-revenue growth isn't keeping pace with a shift by users to mobile phones. The company has been adding advertising to its mobile application in the last couple of months to address that migration.
Everson said the Menlo Park, Calif.-based company has been testing new ad products, and showed almost a dozen ideas in April to a client council comprising of corporate chief marketing officers and agency executives. Currently, mobile advertising shows up in the form of stories in a news feed, the place that users also find updates from friends like new pictures or relationship status.
There's been "really significant interest" in the mobile- only news feed ads Facebook started selling earlier this month, Everson said.
A location-based product would take advantage of information shared by almost 1 billion people on Facebook, which has come under scrutiny from regulators in the past about how the company uses data in advertising. Facebook already allows companies to serve ads based on ZIP code, and a mobile product could use more specific, real-time data. The company also allows users to share a physical location when posting an update.
Facebook rose 2.5% to $30.76 at 10.58 a.m. in New York.
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