Facebook’s Audience Network, announced first at f8, is now available to more 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.
Facebook announced the global rollout in a blog post:
In addition to making the Audience Network more widely available, we’re also expanding the types of ads it displays. Along with app install and app engagement ads, the Audience Network now supports link ads, meaning any advertiser can use the network to drive traffic to its mobile website.
Businesses are already seeing strong results with the Audience Network. Relative to other Facebook campaigns, Walgreens increased its reach by 5% and improved its click-through rate by 4-5X during tests with the Audience Network.
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.
Rhiannon White, Director of Product Management at Shazam, discussed the network in a blog post:
The Audience Network has delivered phenomenal performance for us. The targeting means the ads are more relevant to our users, and the diversity and quality of advertisers is top notch.
Facebook notes that all app ads and link ads are eligible to appear in Audience Network. Through the Ads Create tool, the Power Editor and the API, Facebook will let you know if your ads are eligible.
It’s a smart move leading up to Facebook’s earnings call; however, the amount of traffic and publishers is still minimal in comparison to larger 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. That, combined with the “natural” or native social context of the platform, is a great recipe just waiting to be baked.
The “thumb wars” are heating up as we enter the all-important holiday period. With Facebook limiting ads across devices and with a greater consumer reliance on social context, the News Feed has become a sort of holy grail for brands. Facebook’s extension of its mobile network extends the playing field and likely pull additional dollars from competing networks.
Readers: How do you feel about Facebook’s Audience Network?