Facebook’s Audience Network – Great news from F8

Facebook just launched something really cool (kind of quietly). If you have any interest in digital marketing – you should take 3 minutes to read this blog post. It’s kind of a big deal, and I’ll keep it short.

This came out at today’s F8 conference in San Francisco. (We’re there, and you can read all of our blog posts about it here. Lots of cool stuff.)

Facebook’s Audiences Network will have a big impact on both advertisers, online media in general, as well as the average Facebook user.

In the first period of this launch, Facebook’s Audiences Network lets you run your App Install-ads or App Engagement ads (another cool piece of news) off Facebook. That is, across the web and apps. They didn’t get specific about how this ads network will work, but judging from the screens in the release, we’re talking ads formats on websites in the same way as you today see ads wherever you are online.

The ads formats
In Facebook’s own words:
Banner, Interstitial, and Native.
Banner will be a thin banner at the top or bottom of your smartphone-screen. Interstitial is an overlay or takeover-ish ad format that covers your screen. Native is tucked within the stories and content on the website where the ad is placed.

Why I think this is awesome
1) For Facebook advertisers: This is more distribution with the same great segmenting that you’ve gotten used to on Facebook. There’s a physical limit to how many ads Facebook can put into the newsfeed.  You can only have so many posts in one day. Meaning that Facebook just got a larger ad inventory. Also, Too many ads and we – the users – will get annoyed and the ads will have a lesser effect. In terms of relevance, Facebook’s powerful ads tools will be extended to perhaps even more relevant places than the newsfeed. Exciting news, indeed.

2) For website owners: More providers of ads platforms on the internet. Competition is (almost) always good.

3) For you and me – the Facebook users: Facebook is a publicly listed company, and has high growth expectations. Meanwhile, there’s a limit to how much of the newsfeed you and I will tolerate being ads before we get annoyed and stop Facebook-ing. In the long run more places outside Facebook where the distribution is done, means less clutter.

How it works
You’ll set up ads like you’ve done before, but with just one click – according to Facebook – you can now distribute the ads outside of Facebook. Facebook is starting with app install ads, but unless something goes incredibly wrong, we’ll soon see the Audience Network for the other Advertising objectives as well. We’re excited.

Wanna know more?
Here’s Facebook’s own release
And a great write-up (before the release came) by TechCrunch’s Josh Constine

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