Facebook takes first step into becoming a mobile ad network

Facebook announced yesterday on its Facebook for business blog that the company is starting to experiment displaying Facebook ads in mobile apps.
The test is part of Facebook’s objective to “improve the relevancy of the ads people see, provide even greater reach for Facebook advertisers and help mobile developers better monetize their apps”, or more generally to “demonstrate even greater reach with the same power of Facebook targeting for advertisers both on and off Facebook”.
The ads displayed in mobile apps via Facebook mobile ad network won’t be differentiable from ads displayed via other networks for users, but will provide other benefits.

How advertisers can benefit from Facebook mobile ad network?

The first benefit of Facebook mobile ad network is obviously the targeting possibilities. Beyond the common location targeting, Facebook mobile ad network will allow advertisers to create custom audiences based on age, gender, interest, education, connections, and more. This should allow mobile apps advertisers to increase their conversion rate by focusing on the most qualified potential customers.
In addition to the targeting options, Facebook advertisers will probably be able to integrate mobile apps as just another media for their advertising campaigns, running across Facebook and mobile apps. This will ease the setup, management as well as analysis of the campaigns’ performances.

How is this Facebook mobile ad network test different from the previous ones?

Facebook had already experimented a mobile ad network several times in the previous years, however “… this current test is more like a mobile ad network in that we are working directly with a small number of advertisers and publishers rather than outside ad-serving platform”. In previous tests, Facebook was selling ads through external ad networks.

What are the potential prospects for Facebook as an ad network?

Facebook could easily become a key player in the mobile apps advertising market thanks to the targeting options offered. The company had also already taken the first steps in competing with search engines like Google or Bing with its Graph Search, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see it introduce ads if the feature becomes popular.
Facebook's latest announcements regarding its ad platform seem to point to the fact that the company is trying to grow beyond a social media advertisement revenue model, and transition into a more general ad network. It will be interesting to see if Facebook plans on using social context as for the soon-to-be obsolete sponsored stories in the future new ad format.


Facebook’s new mobile ad network will certainly help marketers increase their mobile apps advertisement ROI thanks to the various targeting options. Advertisers on Facebook will also be able to expand their reach by targeting customers outside the social media. However, in order to benefit from Facebook targeting options, marketers have to strategize and identify which one amongst the age, gender, interest, education, connections, and various more will help them reach the most qualified audience. If you haven’t yet identified the best suited targeting options and strategy to advertise on Facebook, get in touch with us through Twitter or our contact page and we will discuss how Smartt can help you maximize your campaigns' efficiency.