Facebook Audience Network Opens Up To Mobile Web
In a head-on challenge to Google, Facebook advertisers can now access native ad inventory across mobile apps and websites.
It’s official: Facebook is expanding its Audience Network (FAN) to include mobile websites, not just just apps.
News that the social media giant was testing an expansion of what started as an in-app advertising network in 2014 broke earlier this month. Facebook says it has been working with global publishers such as Hearst, Elite Daily, USA Today Sports Media Group and Time Inc. to test FAN on their mobile sites in a closed beta.
Facebook’s 2.5 million advertisers can now access native ad units on mobile websites via the Audience Network. The company says native formats already account for 80 percent of impressions on FAN. This includes multi-image carousel ad units and is also helping publishers create native versions of standard ad formats.
Facebook is making it as easy as possible for mobile publishers to join FAN. They just have to an an HTML tag — no SDK integration required — and could be live the same day. Publishers interested in joining the beta can learn more here.
Some have called Facebook’s network expansion to the mobile web a potential Google AdSense killer. Where AdSense dominated desktop network advertising, Facebook hopes to be the network of choice for mobile. It’s certainly a threat, giving advertisers the ability to leverage Facebook audience data against their ad buys in addition to native ad units — as opposed to the text and banner ads available via AdSense — that are increasingly popular with publishers and advertisers alike. (Google does offer in-app native ad formats through DoubleClick Ad Exchange). FAN also supports native video, as well as banner and interstitial formats.
In the third quarter of 2015, Facebook generated 78 percent of its $4.29 billion in ad revenue from mobile ads. The company recently announced that the Audience Network had hit a billion-dollar run rate, based on fourth quarter performance.