Recently Facebook has made an announcement that they have begun developing and testing a mobile ad network. Interestingly they aren’t doing just an on-domain network, like they do now, where you can only buy ad space on Facebook. This ad network will be a real cross domain network. This new development could bring a whole new meaning to the phrase marketing using Facebook.
Facebook is working with a range of ad exchanges that deliver ads to both iOS and Android devices. Advertisers can still target using Facebook’s wide array of options such as age, location and interests. Facebook will either build their own or buy one of these exchanges and save themselves the trouble. Most people are speculating that this move will lead to Facebook eventually launching a complete ad network across all platforms.
Facebook’s exchange will be called FBX and will allow them to gather data and information on internet shoppers purchasing habits. Essentially FBX is a massive retargeting network that connects web cookies to Facebook’s internal databases. This kind of data will prove invaluable when the decide to launch a web ad network to compete with Adsense. The decision to start in mobile should also help them on Wall Street showing that they have their priorities straight after being criticized for focusing too much on the web.
This jump by Facebook, to selling their data rather than just their inventory, is putting them in a new competitive arena. They will now start to go head-to-head with companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft; companies who all have similar ad networks. Could we eventually see Facebook grow into a new internet powerhouse like Google? Only time will tell.