You can never accuse Facebook of just sitting on their hands can you? The tech giant is always trying to stay ahead of the competition by introducing new features to both their social media platform and to their very successful ads network.
One new addition just announced allows Facebook ads to now target non-users of Facebook on outside websites and apps, this means they are now competing directly with the powerful Google display network for advertising dollars.
Before this change, Facebook only displayed ads on third party websites if users were also logged into the social media platform. They could show targeted display ads based on the user’s past behavior on such as their likes and interests along with their demographic information such as age and location.
But with the introduction of the Audience Network (that’s the network of websites and apps Facebook uses to show you ads outside its own platform) they will also show ads to people who have never used Facebook, as confirmed by Andrew Bosworth recently, vice president of ads and business platform:
Today, we’re expanding Audience Network so publishers and developers can show better ads to everyone — including those who don’t use or aren’t connected to Facebook.
Facebook is looking to become the leader in online advertising by providing a good experience for website visitors to their network by stopping pop-ups, slow loading ads, and scammy advertisers.
“One of the things we’ve heard from people is that many of the ads they see are annoying, distracting, or misleading. We think companies can do better, and that’s why we’ve been focused on improving ads both on and off Facebook.”
Bosworth gave a specific example of how Facebook will be offering a better user experience than their advertising competitors:
We’ve all had this experience. You open a news article on your phone’s web browser, and the page takes unusually long to load. Once it appears, the article is blocked by an ad. You might see a tiny “x” to hide the ad, but if you tap in the wrong spot, you get redirected to an app store or another website. It can be unclear who’s behind the ad or even if the website you’ve been directed to is safe to visit.
Advertising may be here to stay, but bad advertising like this doesn’t have to. That’s why we’re working to provide a better online advertising experience for everyone: people, publishers, and advertisers.
Facebook plans to offer advertisers the same types of targeting of non-Facebook users as it currently does to Facebook users by utilizing data from cookies that follow web surfers wherever they go on the Web
Facebook is planning on offering advertisers using the audience network the same ability to target their advertising as they currently have in place on their social media platform.
Bosworth told the Wall Street Journal, ““Our buttons and plugins send over basic information about users’ browsing sessions. For non-Facebook members, previously we didn’t use it. Now we’ll use it to understand better how to target those people.”
Of course, this kind of tracking across the web is not new – Google, for example, has been doing it for years. But this change in strategy will significantly increase the volume of ads Facebook will be able to place on the internet now, reaching out to more people than ever, and seriously threatening Google’s stronghold over online advertising.
This kind of tracking is commonplace online these days – Google, for example, has been doing it for years. But for Facebook, this is a significant step forward in expanding their ad network beyond their platform and start to attack Google’s current stronghold over online advertising.
John is a tea-drinking, 43-year-old (not old, just well-seasoned) digital marketer who remains intensely curious about new ways to market online. He believes the best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing, it is about telling stories that resonate enough with people that they want to do business with you.