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What is the Facebook Audience Network?

Written by: Juliana Casale, Director of Marketing

Facebook Audience Network was publicly announced during April’s f8 conference as a way to help developers monetize on mobile. When a user opens an app from one of Facebook’s developer partners, Facebook leverages a unique identifier fetched from the user’s device to match and serve them with an ad from one of Facebook’s advertisers. Despite the high impact this new product could have on revenue, the social network has been cautious in rolling it out. During Facebook’s Q2 earnings report in June, COO Sheryl Sandberg confirmed, “We’re still in really early days and we only have some publishers in our network, but we see this as an opportunity to provide greater reach for Facebook marketers and developers, again, to improve relevance of the ads people see, both on and off Facebook.”

So, what is the Facebook Audience Network and why is it important?

Currently, marketers place their ads on Facebook using Power Editor, or through a Preferred Marketing Developer like Nanigans. These ads can reach Facebook users across desktop and mobile, whether someone is browsing or using the Facebook app. Traditional ads placed on Facebook can appear in the news feed (mobile + desktop) or right hand side column (desktop only), and can be targeted based on any number of factors, including user location, age range, interests, lookalike audiences and website browsing history — even someone’s probability of clicking or installing.

Facebook Audience Network is an extension of Facebook’s vast targeting capabilities. It allows developers to offer ad spots in their mobile apps to brands with similar fans and audiences across Android (version 8 and above) and iOS (6 and above) devices. Advertisers can leverage Facebook’s 50+ targeting options to promote their business on the Facebook Audience Network using traditional ad types like banners and full-screen interstitials, as well as native ads that can be customized to mirror the app’s look and feel. Facebook has said the ads will look and behave similarly to their existing mobile app ads, containing the same elements (custom message, image, call to action).

Benefits to app developers:

  • Facebook Audience Network will assist with mobile app monetization by delivering high-relevance ads from 1 million+ advertisers to app users
  • Developers can filter out specific advertisers and categories of ads for each app
  • Linking an app to the Facebook Audience Network allows monitoring of ad placement clicks and impressions over a specific time frame, as well as access to revenue estimates
  • Shared report access means adding team members as admins and keeping them in the loop

Benefits to advertisers:

  • Facebook Audience Network boosts the reach of mobile app ads by serving them up to highly relevant audiences off of Facebook
  • Ads go through a rigorous vetting process to ensure they are formatted correctly
  • When clicked, an ad on the Facebook Audience Network will take a user directly to an app store, mobile website or existing app

Protection for Facebook users:

  • The Facebook Audience Network does not pass information about users back to the publisher
  • Users can enable “Limit Ad Tracking” in their device settings (iOS only) or an advertising opt-out on Android
  • All apps in the Facebook Audience Network are manually reviewed for quality, compliance and adherence to Facebook’s advertising guidelines

At the moment, Facebook Audience Network is in beta, which means developers must apply and be accepted to the program before they can begin integration with Facebook’s SDK. As the Audience Network continues to ramp up, stay tuned for further opportunities — both for brands and direct response advertisers to reach a wider audience with extremely targeted mobile campaigns, and for developers to monetize quickly and easily by delivering the mobile ads users are most likely to engage with.


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