Opinion: Facebook's next big push, from apps to TV ads and beyond

 Ian Laurie
By Ian Laurie | 5 May 2014

Facebook Audience Network will in effect extend the reach outside the Facebook ecosystem for advertisers. From an app developer’s perspective it will make the app world simpler and easier to monetise.
It is the first time Facebook has gone outside the realms of advertising within its own ecosystem which is an opportunity for brands to extend the reach of their campaigns they are running on Facebook, while still enjoying the sophisticated targeting and measurement capabilities of the platform.

Initially the launch will only be available for brands wanting to get audiences to download or engage with their apps. At the point where every brand campaign will be able to tap into this wider mobile ad network and send people off to buy products or engage with non-app campaigns is when we may see a reduction in CPMs as there is a wider pool of audience to target.
Any client running mobile app installs should turn on the switch for Audience Networks given there is no need for additional creative, but keep this as a separate campaign and monitor performance compared to ongoing campaigns to establish if this is right for their brand. In some cases going outside the Facebook ecosystem may change the quality of the audience, for good or bad, so it is worthwhile testing this before all the eggs go into the FAN basket.
Given that developers can now let Facebook deliver, measure and remunerate for ads that run in their apps means that we could see a steep rise in the developers choosing Facebook Connect over Google+ sign in (the easy and simple way users can sign in to apps). This means Facebook will be getting the valuable user data and selling this on as part of their ad network. This is worrying for Twitter given it is limited in the AU market on population numbers to join the fight so may continue to lose out in the battle for data.
The Facebook algorithm works on relevancy i.e. if the ad is targeted badly or its message is just not suitable for the audience, then it will be very hard for advertisers to deliver those ads in a cost effective way.  The way Facebook will decide how to deliver the ads for FAN, to which app, may depend on the performance of ads within those apps based on the same relevancy that delivers ads. The effect is that those apps will need to deliver an engaging and valuable user to gain more of the ad serving budgets. The good thing about app users is that they are digitally engaged and are likely to have a high interaction rate.
For now brands can look forward to a larger reach without having to put much resource into doing so. We may see a reduction, or at least a slower rise, in CPMs due to a larger reach. But we think the most compelling element is the reach outside the platform ecosystem. You never know. Maybe advertisers could soon buy TV spots via the Facebook ad platform.

Ian Laurie
Head of Social Investment
Society Social

comments powered by Disqus