updated 12:00 am EDT, Sun September 4, 2011
AdMob now limited to mobile apps only
Google made a major policy change for its mobile ad unit AdMob late Friday with plans to take it away from the mobile web. Citing confusion and overlap, it now plans to limit AdMob to native mobile apps on Android, iPhones, iPads, and other phone or tablet platforms. AdSense, its original ad system, would be used for web ads on phones and tablets.
Support for AdMob on the web would go away first for basic WAP-based pages on September 30. Smartphone-grade ads would survive for "a little longer" but was getting advance warning all the same, product management lead Clay Bavor said.
The transition marks an end to a significant portion of AdMob's work. Mobile web ads had been part of AdMob's service since before it was bought by Google in 2010 and were still being improved as recently as the spring, when AdMob made HTML5 tablet ads. No signs have emerged of trouble in AdMob's performance to have prompted the switch, although it did see the exit of founder Omar Hamoui and other top staff.
Google's refocusing comes just as Apple's fledgling entry into mobile ads was getting its own sharpening. Apple has put Eddy Cue in charge of the Internet services division that includes iAd, its HTML5-based but app-focused platform.