Facebook has opened up its Audience Network to show advertising to everyone, not just those holding an account with the social network, further advancing its monopoly on online advertising.
Facebook Audience Network was launched two years ago, allowing advertisers to tap into third-party apps and mobile sites with the same highly-personalised targeting available on the network itself.
However, an update now means that it’s not just Facebook’s 1.6 billion-strong audience in the firing line for native ads, with advertisers given the ability to extend campaigns, including native ad formats, to “users they otherwise wouldn’t have”, utilising information garnered from partnering publishers.
“Over the coming months, we will expand the reach of Facebook-powered advertising on the Audience Network to include people who don’t have accounts,” read the Facebook for Business statement.
“To ensure that the adverts that people see in the apps and websites in the Audience Network are highly relevant, we will use information that we receive from third-party sites and apps that use Facebook technology.”
Participating advertisers can now also gain further insight into which channels are proving most fruitful – including Facebook, Instagram and the Audience Network – with the ability to count conversions from those not connected to the social platform.
Fighting the good fight
Despite subjecting more users to ads, the social network believes the highly-targeted, less invasive formats on its Network offer a “better experience” to audiences turning away from publishers due to annoyances over what they receive.
“For example, we don’t permit ads that include sound unless you interact with them and we prohibit deceptive ads and ads for unsafe products and services,” said Andrew Bosworth, Facebook’s VP of ads and business platform.
“We’ve developed technology to determine when someone clicks on an ad on a mobile device by accident, so you don’t get taken to a website or app you didn’t mean to visit.”
It’s believed that a move away from advertising on its own site and even to its own users will line Facebook up nicely for competing with giants like Google in the world of online display.