The announcement comes ahead of the company’s event Thursday at its Menlo Park headquarters in Northern California, where it is largely anticipated that Facebook will unveil its “new home on android” in the form of its first mobile phone.
With more than half of Facebook’s over 1 billion users accessing the site via mobile devices, the smartphone would be an HTC model that would run on Google's (GOOG) Android operating system.
Google is comfortably perched atop the mobile search market, raking in 93 percent of all domestic mobile search advertising dollars. Facebook occupies the number two spot.
Still, the move is yet another signal of the growing importance of ad revenue for the company, who, in a similar event early last month, announced a gradual makeover of the website’s format that promised larger images and sub categorization of news feeds. While these moves were presented as being user friendly, they have clearly been friendly to advertisers as well.
With a mobile phone market that is gradually becoming flooded with viable products, with the dominance of Apple's (AAPL) iPhone having long ago given way to the Samsung Galaxy brand, the potential return of Blackberry (BBRY) in the form of the Z10 and Q10 models, and sooner than later, phones from Amazon.com (AMZN) and Google, now might be the perfect time for Facebook to test out its own smartphone.
Facebook’s shares got a bump from Wednesday’s news, up 3.27 percent to close at $26.25.
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