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Facebook Has Ad Ambitions

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Facebook and Zynga serve up advertising.

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Facebook (FB) may be leveraging its relationship with Zynga (ZNGA) to create the first stage of an advertising network. If it can pull this off, it could grow into a lucrative source of revenue, similar to Google's (GOOG) AdSense system.

The social network last week began serving up ads on Zynga, creator of addictive games like Mafia Wars and FarmVille, which were once exclusive to Facebook and helped fuel its early growth.

The two sites are sharing the ad revenue, according to the site InsideFacebook, although the precise split is not known.

Zynga now has its own site, but users log on using their Facebook IDs. That makes it ideal for display of targeted advertising related to those users' likes-or anything else related to the growing pile of personal data that Facebook collects on its users.

It wouldn't be hard for Facebook to expand its ad coverage to other sites that carry that little "like" button for Facebook, which includes just about every site on the Web.

Facebook said in a statement that its ads will not appear on other sites "at this time."

Speaking of Zynga, the company will unleash a new slate of game titles this week. Analysts are looking for the company to establish itself solidly beyond FarmVille, and outside Facebook. A game that looks like fun on a mobile device would be just the ticket.

No positions in stocks mentioned.
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