Facebook Launches Audience Network for Mobile Developers

Back in the Summer during Facebook’s f8 developer conference, I told you about the Facebook Audience Network, the social net’s first foray into “off-site” advertising. Following the company’s announcement of the expanded Atlas platform last week, Facebook has officially rolled out FAN to mobile developers.

Mobile app developers can now access Facebook’s rich stockpile of over 1.5 billion users’ data (much of it self-disclosed, btw) to improve their in-app advertising experience. FAN for mobile isn’t, however, a “new” type of advertising– on the contrary: this new offering by the social network is, instead, a way to extend the advertising dollars they are already receiving outside of Facebook’s walled garden.

The benefit for developers is the ability to better provide “relevant” advertising to their users in a mobile setting in return for the possibility of increased revenue. Mobile data targeting still hasn’t been perfected yet (despite the large increase in mobile use the past 2-3 years)– however, Facebook has an advantage by already being a staple on most of their users’ phones; thereby, allowing the company to extend the data they have on these people to other mobile apps.

Image via Facebook

For developers, it’s quite a simple test: either including the Facebook Audience Network (and the data it brings) will increase revenue, or it won’t (and they return to whatever they were using before). And, for Facebook, this couldn’t be a better opportunity.

Think of this in terms of extensibility: previously, every dollar that Facebook earned required ads to be placed within the social network itself. With the Facebook Audience Network, the company can begin to earn additional ad revenue from advertisers without flooding the site with more ads. Like any other data-collecting property (Google, BlueKai, etc), Facebook is simply taking what they already know about you & allowing third-parties to access it. It’s a win/win for FB (though, the privacy police may not feel the same….).

Mobile app developers can sign up for the Facebook Audience Network here. Facebook has put together a couple of decent case studies as well; though, I’d love to hear from developers themselves on how incorporating FAN has changed your mobile app revenue (for the better or otherwise). Drop me a line if you’d like to talk about putting together a case study!

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