It appears that Facebook is prolonging the inevitable. The industry has been waiting for Facebook to launch an ad network that would rival Google's AdSense for years at this point, and finally since the company went public, it was starting to look like it was going to happen very soon.
In fact, Facebook has been testing ads on third-party apps, and has has indicated that it could run ads on third-party sites as well.
Today, All Things D's Peter Kafka reports that Facebook is shutting down the test, at least for now. He shares a statement from Facebook's Brandon McCormick:
“We are pausing our mobile ads test off of Facebook. While the results we have seen and the feedback from partners has been positive, our focus is on scaling ads in mobile news feed before ads off of Facebook. We have learned a lot from this test that will be useful in the future.”
So, it sounds like they do intend to move forward with this at some point, and the way Facebook has been cranking out the ad-related efforts, I'd be surprised if it turns out to be the distant future.
In November, Facebook introduced Data Use Policy and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities changes, which included changes that would make it more clear to users that Facebook can use their data in ads off of Facebook.
In other news, online advertising has hit a new record in the U.S.