Facebook is working on a location-based mobile ad product that could give companies real-time data on users' whereabouts, reports Bloomberg. Being able to isolate the instant just before a customer makes a purchase is a key goal for advertisers, and a location-based product could let them know when and where people are shopping. Facebook already lets users Check-In at retailers, posting messages with their current locations.
In its May 9th S–1, Facebook reported that "we do not currently directly generate any meaningful revenue from the use of Facebook mobile products, and our ability to do so successfully is unproven." The shift to mobile devices will continue to affect Facebook’s bottom line, as mobile ads only produce about a fifth of the revenue of desktop ads. Any opportunities to get extra value from its mobile apps are obviously of intense interest to the company, but it has run into trouble monetizing personal information in the past. Facebook hasn’t given any indication when it might release location-based ads, but its VP of global marketing solutions, Carolyn Everson, tells Bloomberg that it’s "had offers being tested over the last couple of months."