After announcing its mobile ad network at f8 in April, Facebook officially launched “Audience Network” which is now available to marketers worldwide. The company has opened up its advertising network that allows brands to utilize Facebook data to target consumers outside of the social network.
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.
Through Facebook’s Audience Network, companies can target advertising on other mobile apps using Facebook data. For instance, someone could see an ad within Shazam for a product or company they might like, based on what they’ve done within Facebook. So far, major apps, publishers and developers such as Zynga, Wooga, Shazam, Le Monde, IGN and Merriam-Webster have utilized the Audience Network.
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.