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Facebook to unveil new android product

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook is unveiling a new Android product Thursday, a move that comes as a fast-growing number of its 1.06 billion users access it on smartphones and tablet computers.

Advertisers are not far behind. Though mobile ads have been a big concern for Facebook's investors since before the company's initial public offering last May, some of that worry has subsided as Facebook began muscling its way into the market.

Last year, the company began showing ads to its mobile audience by splicing corporate sponsorships and content into users' news feeds, which also includes updates from friends and brands they follow. Among the challenges Facebook faces now is showing people mobile ads without annoying or alienating them.

The mobile advertisement market is growing quickly. That's thanks in large part to Facebook and Twitter, which also entered the space in 2012. Research firm eMarketer expects U.S. mobile ad spending to grow 77 percent this year to $7.29 billion, from $4.11 billion last year.

As for Thursday's event at the company's Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters, speculation has centered on a mobile phone, made by HTC Corp., that deeply integrates Facebook into the Android operating system. The move comes as Facebook works to evolve from its Web-based roots to a "mobile-first" company, as its mantra goes.

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