Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is widely expected to reveal more details about plans for a mobile ad network at the company's F8 developer conference in San Francisco on Wednesday.
Such a service would let Facebook further monetize the data collected on its 1.28 billion monthly active users by enabling advertisers to provide highly targeted ads using that data on other mobile platforms, including apps and games.
Rivals Google and Twitter, are among the many other companies already offering competing services, but Facebook is particularly well-positioned because its users provide such a wealth of personal information. It's that treasure trove of data, such as gender, age and Likes, that could give Facebook the edge.
(News that Facebook would be launching the network was first reported by Re/code.)
"Facebook's advantage as an ad network is that it has increasingly detailed, accurate profiles on a vast number of Internet users," said Mark Mahaney, managing director and analyst at RBC Capital Markets.
Last week on the company's first-quarter earnings call, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg highlighted a mobile ad network as a key opportunity.
"We think because we're people-based, we have an opportunity first to provide greater reach for marketers and developers who are working with Facebook across other platforms, but also improve the relevance of the ads people see both on and off Facebook."