The idea: ads in a range of (non-Facebook) mobile apps and mobile websites targeted using Facebook’s data – age, gender, location, Likes and so on. Advertisers pay Facebook, which then synchronises its data with that of other mobile advertising networks to place the ads.
A big threat to existing mobile ad networks? Actually, it’s possibly a boost for them, as TechCrunch points out: “Facebook is acting as an ad-exchange layer on top of traditional mobile ad exchanges like Mobclix or Nexage that bid for placements on ad networks like AdMob, iAd, or individual publishers.”
More accurate targeting can only benefit the mobile advertising world, and the developers trying to make money from it. That said, Facebook’s initiative is only one – albeit a high-profile one – of many initiatives to improve mobile ad targeting.