The Facebook mobile ad network is reportedly ready for announcement at the end of the month.
We have made the case over and over again about how Facebook in particular, and consumer-facing online companies in general, will need to get their mobile house in order if they want to survive. Facebook was very vulnerable to this while its public company life was in its infancy. However, it has continued to improve its mobile strategy.
Along these lines, there are reports that Facebook will unveil the Facebook mobile ad network at its F8 conference at the end of the month. According to Re/Code:
“Facebook will pitch the ads to publishers and developers as a way to leverage the social network’s vast database of user information for better ad targeting. And Facebook wins by expanding its ad reach — now it can make money from its billion-plus users even when they’re not on Facebook’s own properties.”
Mobile is the driver of growth, but size, mobile OS’s and user behavior make it difficult to deliver ads that will drive customers to advertisers and ad dollars to Facebook. As Facebook has continued to shift its focus to mobile, it has experimented with how it can provide more ads to mobile users.
“A good chunk of that — perhaps 50 percent or more — comes from “app-install” ads, which prompt users to download apps or re-engage with apps they’ve already installed. The ad product was initially an afterthought in Facebook’s mobile ad strategy, led by Facebook engineering and platform leader Mike Vernal, who at one point only had a single engineer working on the project.”
There is plenty of existing competition for a Facebook mobile ad network. Existing players include such enterprise-level companies as Google and mobile ad upstarts like Twitter. Other lesser-known networks are also everywhere on the mobile Net.
“Facebook won’t be playing in the space alone. The company will take on Google’s existing AdMob mobile network, as well as smaller players like Millennial Media. And now Twitter is entering the fray, by linking its MoPub ad network to its ad buying platform, and rolling out app install ads of its own.”
Something tells us that Facebook does not particularly worry about competition, particularly with the inclusive Facebook environment as a base.