F8: Facebook Audience Network Officially Introduced

Facebook’s long-rumored mobile ad network is now a reality, as the social network officially introduced its Facebook Audience Network Wednesday at its F8 global developer conference in San Francisco.

FacebookAudienceNetwork650Facebook’s long-rumored mobile ad network is now a reality, as the social network officially introduced its Facebook Audience Network Wednesday at its F8 global developer conference in San Francisco.

Facebook Audience Network is currently in beta, and developers can apply to be included here, with the social network saying it will roll out to more advertisers “in the coming months.”

The network offers advertisers the same ad-targeting and measurement tools available to traditional Facebook advertisers — including custom audiences, core audiences, and lookalike audiences — and it will be available in all interfaces, including Facebook ads application-programming interface.

Product Manager Sriram Krishnan spoke with Justin Lafferty of sister blog Inside Facebook about the philosophy behind the mobile ad network:

The idea behind the Audience Network is now advertisers can use all of the targeting they were used to on Facebook, and extend the reach of those campaigns to other applications, as well. For example, we’ve talked with Hipmunk, where Hipmunk wanted to find people who were searching on its website and show them an ad for the Hipmunk app. So they can do that using the Audience Network. Previously, we could do that only inside Facebook. For advertisers, it’s just a great way for them to reach the audience they really care about and show them ads that the people want to see.

Facebook offered more details on Facebook Audience Network in a post on its Facebook for Business page:

For marketers already running News Feed ads on Facebook, using the Audience Network takes just one click. The Audience Network will be available in all ad interfaces, as well as the API. Once a campaign is running in the Audience Network, our system handles optimization and delivery.

Ads in the Audience Network are designed to help marketers meet key business objectives, like driving app installs and engagement. To help deliver the best ads possible, the Audience Network delivers ads in three creative formats: banner, interstitial, and native.


The Audience Network’s native format ads fit the look and feel of the respective app supporting an ad. Early tests have shown that these ads drive great performance.

Regardless of format, there’s no need to upload new creative — ads in the Audience Network use the same images you use for your ads on Facebook.

The Audience Network is starting with advertisers looking to drive app installs or app engagement. We’ll expand to include additional marketing objectives in the future.

Since we’re still in the early phases of the Audience Network, we anticipate performance to vary at first. We expect to see performance increase as more ads, apps and publishers come onto the system.

And on the developer side, the social network said in a post on its developer blog:

Over the past 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.

Today we’re introducing the Audience Network, which extends the reach of Facebook campaigns into third-party mobile apps. Here’s how it helps you better monetize your app:

  • Show the right ads for your audience: Advertisers want to reach the people they care about, and people want to see ads that are relevant to them. Facebook’s Audience Network takes advantage of the power of Facebook to show the right ad, to the right person, at the right time.
  • Get access to Facebook advertisers: With the Audience Network, your app will have access to Facebook’s huge advertiser base — over 1 million strong. Show ads from a diverse set of local and global brands that want to reach their customers in your app.
  • Successful ad units: Display high-quality ads in a format that’s right for your app. Choose from banners, interstitials, or customizable native units that fit the look and feel of your app.

Readers: What are your early impressions of Facebook Audience Network?

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.