Facebook started testing brand new mobile ads yesterday, although it is not inside the Facebook app itself. The new ads can be found in external apps, as well as on mobile websites that users connect with their Facebook account.
The new Facebook mobile ads are based on the user’s age, gender, location, and interests. According to the social media site, the goal of the new ad network is to show users more relevant ads wherever they go, even outside the website’s own properties.
Last June, Sponsored Stories started surfacing on Facebook together with games on Zynga’s website. This is an obvious sign that an external ad network, designed to compete with Google, is coming.
How Facebook External Mobile Ad Will Work
Facebook declined to reveal any ad advertisers, exchanges, networks, or publishers involved. However, TechCrunch explained how the small initial test will work.
Users will see banner and ads targeted based on their Facebook biographical and social data within non-Facebook apps and mobile websites. However, it will only appear on mobile platforms authenticated by the user to connect on the social network.
Other than the age, gender, location, and interest, the ads will be targeted based on the friends who have used an advertiser’s app. This means that advertisers can target their market based on any targeting option that are available on Facebook’s standard ads marketplace.
Facebook External Mobile Ad: What Lies Ahead?
Facebook and Zynga are operating on a profit-sharing agreement. However, the company’s new ads are functioning on an ad exchange. This allows advertisers to bid on a specific demographic without having any access to information about you. The good thing about this is that the ads don’t clutter its own mobile application. So whether this is the golden egg that Facebook shareholders are looking for remains to be seen.
Facebook earns money through mobile ad network based on the traffic that they bring to other apps and websites. Advertisers, on the other hand, are taking advantage of the network’s expansive and accurate user data set in order to reach their specific audiences. This gives app developers and brands a powerful way to tap their market, that they will be willing to pay more than if they advertise directly with less accurate ad exchange network.
If the social media site’s new ad network will provide more accurate targeting than competitors, it could be a new and lucrative revenue stream. This could be helpful for someone that is struggling to monetize its mobile efforts.