Facebook turns to mobile advertising with Rel8tion acquisition


With 200 million mobile users and counting, it really was about time for Facebook to try and cash in on the burgeoning mobile advertising bandwagon – something it appears ready to do after the acquisition of Seattle hyperlocal ad startup Rel8tion.

“We’re excited to confirm that we recently completed a talent acquisition of Rel8tion, a stealth-mode startup in Seattle. The engineering team will join our growing Seattle office, and we’re looking forward to having them on board,” said Facebook in a statement.

Though Rel8tion’s site unceremoniously crashed under the world’s sudden scrutiny, a Google cache of the page revealed the following text on the homepage:

“Narrow your view to specific locations, specific demographics or specific times by adding filters and we’ll show you your potential audience,” it reads, noting that filters for campaigns can be based on Age, Income, Gender, Ethnicity/Race, Education, Marital Status, Employment Status and Career as well as location based on Google Maps.

With 200 million mobile users, that would seem like a perfect fit for Facebook, which recently rolled out its “places” and “deals” initiatives allowing users to check-in to places, much along the lines of rival Foursquare, which boasts only six million registered users.

200 million is a rather more attractive base to build in-depth marketing profiles from, and has worldwide impact.

The move also fits in well with Facebook’s mobile vision, with the firm’s CTO Brett Taylor telling the audience at the Inside Social Apps conference in San Francisco today, that “Mobile is the primary focus for our platform this year.”

Terms of the deal with Rel8tion have not been disclosed.

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sylvie barak