Facebook steps up ads on mobile devices

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Facebook is making it easier for advertisers to reach the growing ranks of users on smartphones and mobile devices, taking a significant step toward addressing one of investors’ most pressing concerns and broadening its appeal to marketers. In one of its first major business moves since its IPO, Facebook said Tuesday that marketers can now pay for the company’s mobile-ad product individually for “sponsored stories,” positive messages that users post about their brand.

Previously, advertisers could buy ad packages, but Facebook controlled whether the ads actually appeared on mobile devices and in users' news feeds. The social media site says that without promoted posts, only 16% of fans can see a post based on the company’s standard algorithm. But by paying, it ensures that 75% of fans see a post.

The move has the potential to get new kinds of advertisers—not just premium brands—who may just want to pay once in a while for a specific post but don't want to pay for a larger ad package, giving them access to the News Feed, a coveted spot on the homepage.

Facebook spokeswoman Annie Ta said there would be a limit to how many ads appear in users' mobile feeds, though she declined to say what the cap was.

Facebook (FB : NASDAQ : US$26.81), Net Change: 0.94, % Change: 3.64%, Volume: 61,399,466

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