Adknowledge Buys SocialMedia’s Facebook Ad Network, In Ongoing Ad Rollup

Performance advertising conglomerate Adknowledge is adding more banner advertising to its inventory, starting on Friday when it absorbs SocialMedia’s ad network on Facebook. The latter company is moving away from that business completely as it focuses on “social ads” — interactive ads where can do things like see others’ tweets about a product and send their own responses back to Twitter.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. This is Adknowledge’s fourth acquisition in social network advertising, following its purchase of application ad network Cubics in December of 2007, then the addition of Lookery’s network in November of 2008, and most prominently the acquisition of a top advertising offers provider, Super Rewards, in July.

Starting on Friday, developers using SocialMedia will be moving on to the Cubics platform, according to Chris Smutny, Adknowledge’s vice president of social applications and online gaming. While many of the largest app developers, especially in social gaming, have moved to virtual currency monetization, he sees a range of apps still making money primarily through ads. The ubiquitous simple quiz apps, for example.

SocialMedia was one of the first social application ad networks, but it’s been focused elsewhere for quite a while. So when Smutny told us that the purchase would broaden the company’s banner-ad footprint, we asked him by how much. He said it would be “decently material,” but didn’t provide specifics. He and others at the company also are notably emphasizing something else with this news, which is that Adknowledge is not building applications to compete with developers while serving ads for them at the same time. RockYou, in some sense, does both.

Super Rewards is one of the many offer companies that has been running some deceptive offer ads, but like others, it says it has been busy cleaning things up. In the context of this news, Smutny adds that the company has started making direct ad sales so high-quality advertisers can reach across its banner network and its offers in a single buy. Readers in Western Europe and Australia can see the company doing this, with T-Mobile, Mastercard and UNICEF currently running campaigns.

The purchase cements Adknowledge’s long-evolving strategy — give developers ways to make money through banner ads as well as through direct payments and offers within offer walls, then package this inventory and sell it to its existing base of advertisers.



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