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Facebook: Smartwatches Are “Absolutely” An Advertising Opportunity
Even without an Apple Watch app, Facebook ad exec says company sees smartwatches and wearables as an advertising venue.
Facebook hasn’t launched an official Apple Watch app, but the company considers the device — and smartwatches, in general — an opportunity to show advertising to consumers.
Dave Jakubowski, the head of ad technology at Facebook, told an audience at the Collision Conference in Las Vegas on Tuesday that smartwatches are “absolutely” an advertising opportunity. But he emphasized that the real challenge will be in developing an ad format that works in this environment.
“Are [smartwatches] advertising opportunities? Absolutely,” he said. “But are the ads any good? Only if we evolve and make them good. We have to figure out how what our application does fits in the user’s world.”
Although Apple’s early Watch demos included what looked like a beta version of an official Facebook app, it was actually an image of a basic Facebook notification that’s available now even without an official app. Facebook has yet to launch an app for the Apple Watch, and a spokesperson recently told Marketing Land that the company is “always evaluating new platforms.”
Mobile continues to be the driving force behind Facebook’s revenue. In its latest earnings report, Facebook said that 69 percent of its overall ad revenue came from mobile in 2014 — a gain of 16 percentage points over the prior year. So advertising, as Jakubowski said Tuesday, is likely to be an important aspect of any official app the company releases for Apple Watch (and other wearables).
“Advertising is the fuel that drives [what we do],” Jakubowski said, “so how do we make advertising an integrated part of that [smartwatch] experience? Our ad tech group has to figure that out.”