Late last year, Facebook introduced a new type of ad called mobile app install ad. The ads, which would appear on your mobile news feed, would take users to the App Store or Google Play page for that app. Now it looks like Facebook might be bringing more ads to its mobile app.
Britt Selvitelle, one of the founding engineers at Twitter, tweeted out this morning that Facebook was now putting ads directly into his mobile notifications tab:
— Britt Selvitelle (@bs) July 21, 2013
Like mobile app install ads, the new notifications tab ads will presumably take the user to the App Store or Google Play page for the game in question. All Things D says the ads are based upon your previous play history, and those who don't play games will not see the ads.
As for Facebook, it says that it's "always testing new channels to promote games." The latest "is part of a small mobile distribution test" that the social network is currently running for game developers.
This isn't the first time that Facebook has put ads into users' notifications tab. Shortly after launching App Center over a year ago, Facebook began to suggest you play games that you're friends were playing via notifications. Unlike those previous ads, these new ads don't dress themselves up as social invites, but are rather unapologetic ads.
Like most other Facebook tests, this latest one will probably not go anywhere. It's an interesting idea for sure, but it also has the potential to annoy many users. Facebook has already limited the amount of updates developers can push via open graph so it's not hard to imagine Facebook doing the same with notification tab ads to limit abuse.
Still, it's an interesting idea. Would you be okay with developers hawking their games via your notifications tab? Or should they just stick to the news feed? Many people probably feel that their notifications tab is a sacred ground that should be devoid of advertisements. Of course, many felt the same way about email, and look at how that turned out.