Facebook has confirmed all the rumours and launched its own mobile ad network at the F8 conference on Wednesday.
The Facebook Audience Network uses the same targeting available for regular Facebook ads but extends the reach into third party apps and websites. Three ad units are available: standard banner ads that display at the bottom of the screen; full screen interstitial ads and native content feed ads.
Facebook says it’s focusing its Audience Network on advertisers looking to drive app installs or app engagement, but will expand the network to incorporate “additional marketing objectives in the future.” The company also says its network can handle all optimisation and delivery for campaigns.
Facebook reveals its Audience Network
During the conference, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said:
“The mobile ecosystem needs a way to deliver these kind of native, personalised ads to people, and I’m glad that we can deliver more than one million active advertisers to your apps.”
On Facebook’s official blog, Song Qian said:
“Over the last few years, we’ve proven that mobile ads work on Facebook. We’ve driven great results by showing people the ads that they want to see from the brands they care about in a format that fits the look and feel of our app.”
Facebook has enjoyed a great deal of success with its app install ads on its own social network and many advertisers have been desperate for more inventory – so obviously this is a positive move all around.
But it’s not a forgone conclusion that Facebook can replicate its success beyond its own social platform. The mobile ad network market is already highly competitive, with Google’s admob and a raft of smaller players vying for business. Facebook’s fortunes will depend on whether it enables the same level of precise and robust targeting already present on its social platform – Facebook says it’s using the same measurement tools – and whether or not the ad units continue to strike that delicate balance between being unobstrusive and engaging.