After its initial introduction in April 2014, Facebook’s Audience Network has now been formally launched and extended to more developers and publishers. The service, which has been optimised to improve performance over the past few months, helps businesses monetise their mobile apps by showing Facebook ads to their audience.
The Audience Network is simply a tool to connect smartphone and tablets apps to the 1.5 million active advertisers currently using the social network.
In an attempt to get more publishers and developers on board, Facebook gives the example of Glu Mobile, makers of Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. This particular app was one of the top grossing titles of the summer and benefitted from the Audience Network’s monetisation process.
“We’ve seen CPMs that are 2X or better with Facebook’s Audience Network compared to other top ad networks,” said Chris Akhavan, President of Publishing at Glu Mobile. “We end up being able to show our users fewer ads because with the Audience Network, we can show the right ads to the right people.”
Facebook also notes that the Audience Network helped Shazam, the music recognition and sharing app, increase its revenue from ad networks by 37 per cent. “The Audience Network has delivered phenomenal performance for us. The targeting means the ads are more relevant to our users, and the diversity and quality of advertisers is top notch,” revealed Rhiannon White, Director, Product Management at Shazam.
Any publisher or developer looking to generate more revenue could “make millions of dollars from their apps” according to Facebook.
How it works
Essentially, the Audience Network shows people the most relevant and appropriate ads possible by extending Facebook’s targeting to third-party apps. Just like the ads a user sees on Facebook, these mobile banners will be of interest to the individual and more likely to increase engagement.
Facebook says that its advertisers are able to extend their campaigns to the Audience Network with just one click and that a “huge pool of demand”, which includes several high-profile brands, is easily accessible.
In addition to banners, the Audience Network also offers native and interstitial ad formats, giving developers the freedom and flexibility to come up with a design that works best. Native ads, which have been adopted by publishers like Le Monde, Deezer and IGN, provide the most seamless aesthetic and have been proven to work well. However, a lot will depend on the type of app, ad and user.
How to implement Facebook’s Audience Network
In order to utilise Facebook’s Audience Network, publishers and developers need to apply through the site. The reason for this is that Facebook wants to ensure a high quality advertising experience is provided for users.
In its Audience Network Policy, Facebook says that publishers and developers must build a quality product, give people control and encourage proper use. Automatic and manual checks for quality and compliance are carried out, but it should take an average of fourteen days to hear whether an application has been successful.