Facebook Halts Web-Based Ads On Mobile Audience Network: Just The Facts

February 12, 2020 Sarah Cavill

Shutterstock_513302824 Home page of social network site Facebook,Facebook notifications of friend request, Facebook is a social networking service, owned and operated by Facebook, Inc.

Facebook recently announced that Audience Network, Facebook’s digital platform for advertisers, will no longer fill any ad requests for its mobile web arm, including in-stream video. The move comes as major browsers announce changes to third-party cookies and privacy oversight becomes front and center for Facebook and other tech titans.

What Will Happen To Existing Mobile Placements On Facebook’s Audience Network?

According to Facebook’s announcement about the mobile advertising update, the social media platform will continue to “support existing in-stream video and mobile web placements until April 10. Starting April 11, there’ll no longer be advertiser demand for these placements from Facebook.”

Why Is Facebook Halting Mobile Ads Across Its Web-Based Audience Network?

Facebook is asserting they see more demand for advertising across their mobile apps than their mobile web-based Audience Network. In fact, the app arm of Facebook’s Audience Network is, according to industry speculation, far more lucrative than the mobile web arm. The move to eliminate mobile web placements allows Facebook to consolidate its advertising partnerships around apps. The change is expected to have little financial impact to Facebook mobile ad revenue.

Digiday suggested that the privacy changes from Google and other browsers, effectively moving to turn off third-party cookies, would “likely hamper” Facebook’s Audience Network. Additionally, a marketer quoted in the Digiday article noted that eliminating the mobile web placements allows Facebook to focus on monetizing their owned-and-operated inventory. Adding, “Selling ads on other properties is generally less lucrative because of the revenue-sharing agreements they would have to enter into.”

It’s also highly possible that Facebook may move away from ad placements on third-party apps, focusing instead on its own apps and social network platforms, including Instagram, which generated $20 billion in sales last year.

How Should Digital Marketers Respond To The Facebook Audience Network Changes?

Advertisers currently using the Facebook Audience Network for mobile web-based advertising are encouraged to analyze the performance of that traffic. For some, the app-based mobile traffic offered by Facebook will suffice. Many advertisers, however, will need to identify incremental mobile-based advertising opportunities that allow them to place their ads where their audiences are actively consuming content.

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About the Author

Sarah Cavill

With more than 20 years of writing, editing and reporting experience, Sarah Cavill brings to Digital Media Solutions (DMS) a fine-tuned and diverse set of skills. Her work has been featured in notable publications including The Daily Muse, CBS Local, Techlicious and Glamour magazine. Sarah has a passion for current events and the deep-dive research that goes into the content development and brand identity of DMS Insights. In her role as Senior Marketing Communications Writer, Sarah contributes to the pitching, researching and writing of multiple stories published each week surrounding digital and performance marketing innovations in pop culture, news, social media, branding and advertising.

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