The Facebook Audience Network Now Serves Ads to 1 Billion People Each Month

83% of it is native, with video growing rapidly

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While Facebook has had 1 billion users on its social network for quite some time, it now has more than 1 billion people viewing its advertising network.

Today, the company announced that more than 1 billion people see an ad thorough its Facebook Audience Network every month. The company says the total—which is primarily a mobile audience—allows advertisers who opt into the network to reach 16 percent more than they can on Facebook's flagship project. FAN, as its called, lets advertisers reach consumers off of Facebook while still still using the same targeting data.

FAN has grown quickly over the past year. In January 2016, Facebook added in the mobile web to its audience network, and in the Q4 2015, it already was on track to have an annual advertising run rate of $1 billion.

"We talk about reaching a billion people every month, and these are real people," said Brian Boland, vp of publisher solutions at Facebook. "We're not talking about cookies or browsers or devices or ID, where one person can look like six things. We're talking about legitimately 1 billion people that can be reached on the audience network."

Facebook has also been adding more publishers along the way, announcing today the addition of publishers including Wenner Media and The Washington Post. Other newly added global publishers include Blackberry Messenger in Indonesia, the Daily Mirror in the United Kingdom, Univision in the U.S. and India Today Group in India.

Boland said advertisers are also seeing better results than they do on just Facebook itself. He mentioned a campaign by Visa that was aimed at promoting Visa Checkout for paying online. By advertising on FAN, he said Visa expanded reach by 15 percent, an in another activation, Visa's customer acquisition was more than 2.5 times as cost efficient. In a campaign for Universal Music, Facebook's audience network drove brand lift awareness by 10 percent.

While 83 percent of ads running through the audience network are native, Boland said video is quickly growing as well. He said video consumption at the end of 2016 was up more than 10 times what it was at the beginning of last year. While Facebook is touting its 1 billion mark, it's tough to tell how quickly FAN—which opened to marketers in October 2014—got to where it is today. Boland declined to provide any benchmarks for how many people viewed FAN ads prior to today.

Facebook has also been extending the measurement capabilities. In November, Facebook announced it was beginning to wind down its Atlas ad serving platform and would fold it into measurement offerings instead.

"Measurement is the most important thing for advertisers to get right in the next couple of years," Boland said.

@martyswant Marty Swant is a former technology staff writer for Adweek.