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Facebook Audience Network Mobile Ad Network Launches At f8

TechCrunch logo TechCrunch 1/05/2014 Josh Constine

Facebook today launched its mobile ad network called Facebook Audience Network so developers don’t have to sell their own ads or do their own targeting, handle measurement, or payments. Facebook will take care of it all. Just as my scoop said, developers can make money by integrating a tiny bit of code to run FAN in banner ads, or they can work directly with Facebook to create native ad units that feel like a natural part of their user experience.

Facebook  it mobile ad network in 2012, but paused it soon after to focus on its own native ads. At the time, the mobile ad network didn’t earn much money for Facebook because it merely a targeting layer that sat on top of ther ad networks that also took a cut.

In September 2013 Facebook , but instead of a layer it had evolved to be a full fledged ad network that works . This lets Facebook earn a higher margin. COO Sheryl Sandberg said the ad network tests “show a lot of promise and we’ve gotten good feedback from marketers” on Facebook’s recent Q1 2014 earnings call.

 that Facebook would officially launch the ad network today, and I confirmed the news with additional details including the name and the fact that it would be compatible with both standard banner ads and custom native units.Now we have the first official look at Facebook’s mobile ad network.

The product will compete with Twitter’s MoPub, as well as independent networks like AdMob and InMobi. While it may take a few quarters to spin up, it could become a serious source of revenue for Facebook.

The launch represents a big shift in how Facebook’s business works, from monetizing engagment on its own properties to earning money from its ad targeting data elsewhere. Until now, Facebook’s revenue has essentially been directly proportional to how many ads it showed in the News Feed and how many users visited. The ad network will let it grow revenue without cluttering its own site and apps with more ads. That’s a more sustainable model that insulates Facebook from competition or a slow down of its own user engagement.

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