Microsoft launched cell phone advertising in the US Monday, with banner ads displayed on MSN Mobile, a portal accessible from any mobile phone. The ads will be displayed as graphics or text, depending on the user's phone, reports AP. Competitors Yahoo, Google, and numerous smaller companies already sell mobile advertising, as does Microsoft in Japan and parts of Europe.
The MSN portal will also begin selling movie tickets, background images and ringtones. A rep said the company won't yet offer targeted ads based on cell phone users' Web browsing habits and location, but might eventually. Microsoft said the ad service is a joint effort with two companies it bought this year, aQuantive and mobile ad group ScreenTonic SA.