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Friday, 10 October 2014

Facebook Opens Its Mobile Ad “Audience Network” To All Advertisers And Apps

After announcing its mobile ad network at f8 in April, Facebook today officially launched “Audience Network” and started letting any advertiser buy any third-party app host ads powered by its targeting data. The big new detail is that Audience Network isn’t a separate set of ad inventory from what’s available in
Facebook’s own apps and site with a direct buying interface. Instead, it’s “a simple way to extend Facebook advertising buys across mobile apps to increase relevancy for people, yield for publishers, and results for advertisers” using the same Facebook biographical, interest, and activity targeting data, according to Audience Network’s product manager Sriram Krishnan. Similar to the web and mobile-based “ad network” Atlas that Facebook just relaunched, Audience Network is a way for Facebook to earn money by leveraging its personal data trove for targeting without cluttering its own service with any more ads. It gives developers an easy option for monetization by hosting Facebook’s ads, while letting advertisers get in front of more people in a certain demographic more frequently than if they could only reach people on Facebook.
Until now, each dollar Facebook earned meant annoying its own users with more ads. This created a natural cap on Facebook’s revenue unless it wanted to pester us so much that we stopped visiting. Now it can sit back and cash in on all the targeting data it’s collected. Audience Network will put Facebook into more direct competition with Google’s AdMob, Yahoo’s Flurry, and Twitter’s MoPub for mobile advertising dollars. 62 percent of Facebook’s ad revenue, or $1.66 billion, came from mobile last quarter largely thanks to developers buying News Feed ads promoting their apps. Now Facebook will be able to gobble up more developer spend because it has more places to put the ads. eMarketer says Facebook took 16.5 percent of worldwide mobile ad revenues in 2013 and expects it that to increase to 20.4 percent this year while Google drops from 46.4 percent to 44.6 percent. If the idea of Facebook-powered ads following you around the mobile web creeps you out, you can opt out through your phone’s settings. iOS users can go to Settings->Privacy->Advertising and enable “Limit Ad Tracking”. On Android, they can go to Google Settings and opt out of interest tracking in the Advertising ID options. It’s Good To Be The Middle Man Audience Network bridges a gap between developers and advertisers, endearing both to Facebook. More Money For Developers Through Targeting Developers want to show ads in their apps to make money, but don’t want to hire their own sales team or deal with any of the technical overhead. Before, that meant working with independent ad networks who would sell the ad inventory in their apps. But because these ad networks had limited information about the identities of who they were reaching, the ads weren’t targeted that well, didn’t resonate, and didn’t generate enough clicks or qualified leads to command high rates from advertisers.
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