In terms of ad targeting, Facebook would need to build a third party ad network on its Facebook Connect-enabled sites (think of it as an "AdSense for Facebook Connect") in order for advertisers to take advantage of the inventory on the phone, Sivaramakrishnan added.
According to rumors, Facebook will unveil a phone with a custom version of the Android operating system. Being integrated at the OS level would allow Facebook to gather “much more data to build more comprehensive profiles and real-time targeting opportunities,” maintained Jennifer Lum, cofounder of ad targeting provider Adelphic Mobile.
“OS level access will provide Facebook with a better understanding of their users around the clock,” Lum said. “Additional data could come from search, location and commuting patterns, payments, cross-app activity and lead to powerful targeting opportunities.”
As many have pointed out, the Facebook phone is a gamble (“A solution to a problem that doesn't exist," is how Ovum analyst Jan Dawson described it to The New York Times.) But there's no question the company has a big mobile story to tell. Data from J.P. Morgan analyst Doug Anmuth and comScore, reported by All Things D's Peter Kafka, pointed out that although Facebook users are spending less time with the social network on a PC, mobile usage is growing fast. "Even as Facebook plays around with different ad tactics and strategies," Kafka noted, "the overall trend is still moving up and to the right."