Facebook will “absolutely” translate online ad success to mobile, says payments partner Bango

Insight from Bango CEO and founder Ray Anderson

Facebook will “without a shadow of a doubt” replicate its success in display advertising on the web onto mobile, according to its British payments partner, Bango. Speaking to StrategyEye, Bango’s founder and CEO, Ray Anderson, says the sheer volume of Facebook’s mobile users is likely to make its ad business a success. “It’s not just an opinion we have, it’s borne out by numbers,” he says. “If you look at Facebook’s [pre-IPO] document or the research written about what Facebook is up to, they’re already getting half their users from mobile and they’re not yet monetising that in any real way. The opportunity there is huge.”

Anderson also dismisses claims that Facebook’s mobile users, accustomed to an ad-free experience, may be annoyed by a sudden influx of ads. Instead he points towards Rovio’s Angry Birds, which is so popular on mobile devices that it claims to be the biggest mobile ad publisher globally, ahead of even Google. “Whether we distract users by placing advertisement on things remains to be seen, but seeing how successful Angry Birds is and how that’s been funded on some platforms, I think it’s not a problem,” says Anderson.

London-based Bango, which provides mobile payment services primarily through carrier billing, plus ad analytics services, is tight-lipped about the Facebook partnership, stating only that it will provide “payment services“. Although unable to give further details as to the exact nature of the deal, Anderson hints that his firm is likely to power Facebook’s ad analytics as well as mobile payments, as the majority of its clients use both. “They’re synergistic, because there’s no point selling something on mobile unless you can analyse and understand your business,” he says. “Everybody who does payment uses analytics.”

Separately, Anderson hints that Bango, which already counts Amazon, Research In Motion and O2 among its clients, is courting Google’s Android Market, Microsoft, Samsung and Nokia. He adds that the firm is also looking to partner with publishers seeking to monetise their content through micropayments or paywalls, such as News International, although any such partnerships are a “long way off“.

You can tweet out a link to any newspaper, and all it’ll say is that that’ll cost you GBP0.10 (USD0.16), click to pay,” he says. “There will be some people who sign up to a GBP10 (USD15.7) a month premium service to read a particular article, but they’re few and far between. So you pick up your Sunday Times culture magazine, [and] they’re always trying to get you to go into their website and sign up. It’s very difficult, because ultimately you have to sign up to a credit card subscription, but it would be nice if you could click a button and go straight through.”

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