Facebook’s mobile ad network seems like a clear threat to Twitter and its MoPub ambitions, but the relationship is complicated. In fact, MoPub has welcomed the Facebook Audience Network into its platform.
"Many of our customers use multiple ad networks along with the MoPub Marketplace to garner the most competitive price for their ad space," MoPub said in a blog post. "Using MoPub, you can work with any ad network, including iAd, AdMob, Millennial Media, and now Facebook Audience Network."
Sources said that the Facebook Audience Network will indirectly plug into MoPub, which works with publishers to put ad space up for auction among these competing networks.
"Facebook's Audience Network will be mediated by MoPub," a source said.
That's good news for MoPub, which Twitter bought last year. Of course, Facebook and Twitter are rivals for mobile ad dollars, but in building the infrastructure for serving these ads they overlap and work together, in some ways.
Facebook Audience Network is not a direct competitor with MoPub. However, it does have the potential to bypass this mediation layer and work directly with publishers, taking ad traffic away from MoPub’s exchange.
Facebook launched the mobile ad network on Wednesday, and it will serve highly targeted, customized ads to its partner apps. Facebook showed banner and native ads designed for apps, including the Huffington Post, The Daily Mail and Vented.
Facebook touted the ad network as a win for advertisers to get more reach and better targeting, and a win for publishers that get to sell ads in their apps. In that light, MoPub, supporting publishers, indirectly wins too.
The Facebook Audience Network is good for MoPub’s mediation business, but if Facebook’s offering performs better, it may pose a threat, another source said.
"The more ad network traffic that comes directly through the Audience Network, the less inventory that’s available for their exchange, which is one of MoPub’s core businesses," the source said.