Can Facebook’s Audience Network disrupt mobile marketing?

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With mobile being one of its strongest arms, Facebook’s mobile ad network does not really come across as a surprise.

Not only marketers who have been awaiting more efficient methods of monetizing the mobile platform, but also arch rival Twitter, welcomed Facebook’s mobile ad initiative with open arms. According to a report by AdWeek, Twitter announced that it shall be mediating MoPub with Facebook mobile ad network.

With such hype around the announcement, one cannot help but wonder whether Facebook’s mobile ad network indeed has the potential to disrupt the mobile marketing economy?

From what is Facebook Mobile Ad Network to what can it do – Indian Media Book takes a look.

What is Facebook mobile Audience Network?

Facebook generated ad revenue of US$ 2.36 billion in Q1 out of which per cent came from mobile advertisements. Despite the growth it has been difficult to build a sustainable mobile app business by earning money through in-app advertising.

Mobile ads don’t work well for advertisers, who struggle to reach the people they care about; and they don’t work well for people using apps, who end up seeing ads that aren’t relevant for them.

To make mobile advertising more feasible and practical, Facebook announced introducing Audience Network which extends the reach of Facebook campaigns into third-party mobile apps.

According to Facebook’s official blog Audience Network will help users enhance their apps with the following steps:

  • Show the right ads for your audience – Advertisers want to reach the people they care about, and people want to see ads that are relevant to them. Facebook’s Audience Network takes advantage of the power of Facebook to show the right ad, to the right person, at the right time.
  • Get access to Facebook advertisers – With the Audience Network, your app will have access to Facebook’s huge advertiser base—over 1 million strong. Show ads from a diverse set of local and global brands that want to reach their customers in your app.
  • Successful ad units – Display high-quality ads in a format that’s right for your app. Choose from banners, interstitials or customizable native units that fit the look and feel of your app.

Commenting on Facebook’s move of launching Audience Network, Madan Sanglikar, Co-Founder and MD, ad2campaign said, “Facebook is strongest on mobile and it has user profile information and behavioral insight. This kind of data adds an additional layer on top of the ad network. What Google did for computers, Facebook is doing for mobile through its ad network.”

Can Audience Network indeed disrupt the market?

Nearly a month ago Twitter launched its MoPub marketplace which helps marketers and developers to drive app installs and app engagements. Google, which has been going strong with its AdWords recently introduced targeted app install ads of mobile search and YouTube.

Amidst this kind of competition, where does Facebook’s Audience Network stand?

According to Sabyasachi Mitter, MD, ibs it is too early to comment on how the Audience Network impact the mobile marketing space. Nonetheless, the network needs to be smart enough to steer away from what the existing competitors are offering.

“Can we follow the consumer based on Facebook login data that would be of value. If not, it’s just another ad network,” expressed Mitter.

However, as much as the performance of Audience Network depends on the kind of services Facebook will provide, it also depends on smart use of it by the marketers and developers.

Sanglikar further expressed that all marketers have a budget for Facebook, amidst this how they add a level of innovation and analytics is important. “Marketers need to be convinced to use analytics. Less amount of time goes in right analytics.”

With the acquisition of Instagram and WhatsApp, Facebook made it clear that it is planning to go all out on the mobile platform. While Audience Network offers growth opportunity to the social media giant, it could also be a game changing mobile marketing tool if put to use correctly.