Facebook's chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, has said the social network stands by its mobile advertising plan, despite concerns that users will be bombarded with unwanted messages.
New software to be released by Facebook this year will mean companies can send ads directly to users' smartphones – even if the homescreen is locked. The move is part of Facebook's drive to take over the mobile platform, which Sandberg said may soon be a more important advertisement vehicle than television.
"The size of the audience makes this – the phone – a mass medium. It's as important to a marketer as TV," she told journalists at Facebook's headquarters in London on Monday. "This is as important – if not more important – than television."
Sandberg, who is Facebook's No 2 behind the founder and chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, said the company had monitored the aggregate engagement of users who saw ads on their mobile apps and those who did not. "So far, we're very pleased with the results," she said.