Facebook Wants to Show That Mobile Ads Affect Desktop Purchases

Social giant unveils cross-device reporting

Facebook has introduced cross-device reporting to potentially help marketers understand how their mobile ads on the social platform influence consumers' desktop decisions. 

According to the Menlo Park, Calif.-based digital giant, marketers will be able to see where different types of conversions—i.e., actual sales, from sign-ups, app downloads, etc.—occurred. Ad performance can be broken down in terms of types of mobile devices, such as tablet, smartphone, iPhone, Samsung, etc.

A Facebook blog post said that "a marketer can view the number of customers that clicked an ad on an iPhone but then later converted on desktop, or the number of people that saw an ad on desktop but then converted on an Android tablet."

The reporting tools have been tested by an undisclosed number of brands—one being One Kings Lane.

"This report has provided unprecedented insights into the cross-device shopping behavior of our customers," said Nisho Cherison, director of online marketing for One Kings Lane.

While Facebook has been on a mobile ads roll in recent months, this data-based move suggests that the player isn't resting on its laurels when it comes to getting brands' spend. And it probably cannot afford to, as Twitter, Yahoo-backed Tumblr and Pinterest increasingly compete for marketing budgets.

But, each of those platforms has yet to prove to retailers that social commerce works. Facebook's move today is designed to deal with that reality.