LifeStreet Buys Facebook Advertising Network from Rival SocialCash

Third-party advertising networks have been running ads in Facebook applications for years. But between Facebook’s own self-serve advertising units, stricter platform rules and a host of new companies, the market has gotten more competitive. Today, one of the newer entrants, an established online advertising company called LifeStreet, has purchased the Facebook advertising network of one of the earlier ones, SocialCash.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. SocialCash is planning to launch a new product, it says in the two companies’ press release, and wants to focus on that instead of its ad network. The company was one of the first to use Facebook user names and profile photos in advertisements on the site, but Facebook banned third parties from providing this kind of ad in a policy clarification last spring. It’s not clear how that affected its revenue, but we spoke to LifeStreet chief executive Mitchell Weisman this evening and he described SocialCash as a main competitor.

To be clear, for those not familiar, LifeStreet and other companies provide advertising within applications, but in the form of banners and other more traditional formats — these are not offers. The ads typically appear in applications besides games.

LifeStreet, which has had a web-wide advertising network for years, began pushing into Facebook in 2009. It made the service a focus in the second quarter, Weismann says, and has quickly grown that area of its business. Other online advertising networks have also been moving into Facebook. Those competitors include Adknowledge, which bought Facebook ad networks from Lookery and Social Media, and Traffic Marketplace, which recently began targeting application developers. We’ll be covering LifeStreet and other advertising networks in more detail, so stay tuned.