Facebook Mobile Places and DealsRumors are swarming and anticipation is building for the long-awaited, fashionably late entrance of Facebook into the mobile advertising world. But while some may believe they missed the boat, the foundation has already been laid thanks to our culture’s penchant for virality – a trait the world’s most popular social media platform helped develop.

An instance where Facebook was indeed too late to the party, was in the case of Facebook Deals and Places. Sites like Groupon and Foursquare had already branded themselves into common practice and while Facebook had the audience to succeed, both features functioned best in the platform’s full, desktop-based format and not in its mobile apps. It’s the user practices proven by sites like Groupon and Foursquare that point toward a more mobile preference when “couponing” and checking in, and in this case Facebook misunderstood its audience.

As smart phone ownership continues its path to surpass personal computers, with it grows Facebook’s mobile loyalty. Apps on every operating platform offer a way to access and contribute to Facebook on the go – those contributions led to more than 425 million monthly active users as reported by Facebook in December 2011.

The power and value of Facebook lies in user intel. This pot of golden information is essential in powering its soon-to-be released mobile advertising platform. By reactivating Deals and Places with a focus on mobile functionality, Facebook has the power to turn a simple smart phone advertising feature into a mobile beacon of content, cost-savings and friendly social voyeurism. This powerful combination of features would further increase Facebook’s user intel, creating a rich advertising platform that could break open the still emerging mobile market.

While this may seem like a promising solution for mobile marketing and a chance at redemption for two of Facebook’s minor failures, it’s all still wishful brainstorming for now. We’ll have to wait and see what is unveiled in Facebook’s first major move post-IPO.