Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Facebook Opens Up Mobile Ad Network to All Advertisers

Facebook's mobile ad business is about to get another boost.

The social network announced Tuesday that its mobile ad platform, called Audience Network, is now open to all marketers and mobile developers.

Audience Network, which was first announced in April, allows businesses to use Facebook's ad targeting tools to better serve ads on mobile applications not named Facebook. In one example offered by the social network, Shazam used Audience Network to sell native ads in its own app, including an ad for Uniqlo.

"Facebook's 1.5 million advertisers can now extend their Facebook campaigns to the Audience Network with just one click," Tanya Chen, a software engineer at Facebook, wrote in a blog post. "This gives our publishers and developers access to a huge pool of demand that includes many of the best brands that advertise on Facebook. It also means people see ads from the brands they care about."

Some of the publishers already using Facebook's mobile ad network include Shazam, Zynga, Le Monde and MyD.

"We've done a lot of work already in the past years to help you build and grow your apps," Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's cofounder and CEO, said during a presentation in April announcing the new mobile ad platform. "This is really the first time that we are going to help you monetize on mobile."

Mobile ads, once thought to be a weak spot for the social network in the lead up to its IPO, have turned into key driver of revenue growth. Facebook's mobile ad revenue surged to $1.66 billion last quarter, more than double what it was a year earlier and accounting for 62% of the company's total ad revenue. Much of that is believed to be fueled by the success of Facebook's app install ads.

Facebook announced Tuesday that its mobile ad network will expand beyond app install ads and app engagement ads to include link advertisements as well.

Global mobile ad spending is expected to top $30 billion this year, according to data from eMarketer. Google remains the top player in the market, but Facebook is catching up faster than any other company.

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