The Real Purpose Of Facebook's New App Targeting Feature

Earlier this week I published an article about Facebook’s new app-targeting feature which lets developers grant access to other advertisers who wish to target the users of their applications. At the time I suggested that this meant advertisers could specifically post ads next to the application, however this is inaccurate. Instead, it’s only targeting the users of specific applications. While still impactful, it doesn’t have the same economics as I first concluded.

In a statement to AllFacebook, Facebook stated that “This feature allows developers to give permission to specific advertiser accounts to advertise to their connections. This is intended to let developers give access to other people within their own companies or their ad agency to advertiser their own products. Since the developers and engineers are usually the administrators of an application, this allows for easier management of advertising campaigns across companies.” Facebook also wanted to emphasize that “This feature has nothing to do with placement and doesn’t allow developers to control the inventory on their canvas pages.”
While I believe in-app advertising would make sense for Facebook, this isn’t what the service is for. Instead, this is to enable developers to target their own users as they navigate the site and to enable other individuals within the organization to manage those ads. Alternatively the developer can grant access to outside developers.