Facebook’s Audience Network Goes Global

Facebook’s Audience Network now allows advertisers around the globe to purchase ads powered by its targeting data that are hosted on third-party apps.

The social media giant officially launched the Audience Network at its f8 global developer conference in April of this year. The mobile ad platform is designed to help marketers deliver the most relevant ads on the right apps, and serves as a bridge between advertisers and developers. With it, advertisers no longer need to hire sales teams or need to figure out the right audience and measure by themselves. Developers too, can simply monetize their apps by hosting Facebook ads.

“Audience Network is a simple way to extend Facebook advertising buys across mobile apps to increase relevancy for people, yield for publishers, and more results for advertisers,” a Facebook spokesperson tells ClickZ.

In addition to making Audience Network more widely available today, Facebook has added link ads to the platform. Previously, the company’s business partners could serve three types of in-app ads – banner, interstitial, and a native-format. Now, in addition to the existing three ad formats, Audience Network supports link ads as well, which means that advertisers will be able to drive traffic to their mobile sites.

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Audience Network will not have a separate buying interface for advertisers. When they purchase ads through the Ads Create tool, Power Editor and the API, they can simply choose if they want to place ads in “Partner Mobile Apps.” Advertisers can also use Facebook’s online and offline conversion tracking tools to measure the performance of their ads.

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Commenting on today’s move, Dayna Moon, senior director of social at digital marketing company 3Q Digital, thinks that the traffic and publishers numbers in Facebook’s Audience Network is “still minimal” compared to other larger networks like Google’s AdMob. However, she continues, with Facebook limiting ad space in its News Feed, the extension of the mobile network will “extend the playing field and likely pull more [ad] dollars from competing networks.”

“I think the key factor is whether Facebook can roll out the advanced targeting features that we as marketers have grown to love about Facebook,” she adds. “That, combined with the ‘natural’ or native social context of the platform, is a great recipe just waiting to be baked.”  

We may have to wait to see what the outcome of Audience Network will be. It will certainly be interesting to see if Facebook’s revamped Atlas will give it a competitive edge, as both platforms offer advertisers the ability to serve more relevant ads and personalize marketing at scale.

Facebook declined to elaborate on how Atlas and Audience Network will work together. “At this time, the two are running separately to meet different objectives,” a Facebook spokesperson says. “We can’t comment on what it will look like in the future.”

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