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Facebook launches new mobile ad network
Inside Facebook Audience Network

fb-thumb-ads.gifDetails of Facebook‘s new mobile advertising network are now starting to come out, and it appears that this could have a major impact for the industry.

Called Facebook Audience Network, this new service has the potential to increase ad revenues for publishers, while increasing ad effectiveness for brands.


For the past couple of years, Facebook has been earning a lot of money from mobile advertising. In the first quarter of 2014, almost 60% of their ad revenue came from mobile, representing well over $1 billion.

However, all of that ad revenue was based upon ads that were actually shown on Facebook, and recently there have been many comments that the increasing level of ads on Facebook has become bothersome to Facebook users. This new ad network will be important as it gives Facebook a way to generate additional revenues without displaying additional ads on their site.

Simply put, Facebook Audience Network will act like most ad networks, connecting brands that wish to advertiser with publishers who have available ad inventory. The difference is that over the years Facebook has collected a huge amount of information about their one billion users. Facebook Audience Network intends to use this information to improve ad targeting, and therefore the profitability of the ads they serve.

And advertisers have been anxious to get more ad inventory on Facebook, as their targeting has proven to be very effective, especially for driving mobile app downloads.

Here’s how it works:

For Advertisers: It is very easy for any advertiser that is currently running ads on Facebook to start using the Facebook Audience Network. The creative is the same as for existing Facebook Newsfeed ads, so a single click is all that is needed to start using the new network. Payment remains through Facebook.

For Publishers & developers: The easiest way for any publisher (or developer) to use the Facebook Audience Network is to incorporate a small bit of code to run banner ads. Facebook then takes care of selling the ads, targeting, filtering (e.g. allowing the publisher specify that no gambling ads should appear), measurement, and collecting payment. Facebook keeps a portion of the ad revenue, but that has not been specified yet.

In addition to IAB standard banner ads, the network also support IAB standard interstitial ads. And Facebook is prepared to work with publishers to develop custom “native ad” units to match the site or app.

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This represents a big shift for Facebook, from strictly monetizing engagement on their own properties to directly generating revenue over many properties utilizing their targeting capabilities. On their blog post announcing the new network, Facebook summarized the benefits to app publishers as follows:

  • Show the right ads for your audience – Advertisers want to reach the people they care about, and people want to see ads that are relevant to them. Facebook’s Audience Network takes advantage of the power of Facebook to show the right ad, to the right person, at the right time.
  • Get access to Facebook advertisers – With the Audience Network, your app will have access to Facebook’s huge advertiser base—over 1 million strong. Show ads from a diverse set of local and global brands that want to reach their customers in your app.
  • Successful ad units – Display high-quality ads in a format that’s right for your app. Choose from banners, interstitials or customizable native units that fit the look and feel of your app.

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