Facebook’s long-awaited mobile ad network is finally on its way, meaning the social network will soon be using its valuable consumer data to sell ads on other companies’ mobile apps and web sites.
According to Re/code, Facebook will officially announce details of the network at its annual F8 developers conference in San Francisco at the end of the month.
It also will allow Facebook to expand the reach of its mobile app install ads, which have become a huge chunk of its multi-billion dollar mobile ad business running only on Facebook’s mobile site and app.
Due to cookies’ lack of potency in mobile apps, where a recent study suggests people are currently spending 86% of their smartphone browsing time, advertisers have had a hard time pushing targeted ads to smartphone users.
Now, brands and app developers will be able to leverage Facebook’s data to reach people even when they are not using Facebook.
For instance, Facebook, which knows John Doe is a male who has logged into Facebook on his iPhone, could show him an ad for another app while he’s playing Pet Rescue Saga.
By comparison, competing mobile ad networks like Millennial Media target people by creating general audience profiles based on the apps members of a certain demographic are likely to use. As such, the mobile web has created a unique opportunity for companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Google that have services people log into, and can therefore be tied back to a real name or email address.
This means that Facebook can show an ad meant for 18-to-35 year-old male John Doe rather than one meant for someone who uses a lot of sports related apps and therefore could be a male between the ages of 18 and 35.
The move will pit Facebook against Google’s AdMob mobile network and Twitter’s forthcoming app install ads, which are slated to on Twitter’s mobile properties, as well as those in the MoPub mobile network it purchased last year.
All three are racing to use their login data to create an alternative to the cookie that they would like to become the data currency of the mobile internet.
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