I’ve been saying for years that Facebook’s ad platform would be the one to watch out for, and year on year they’ve made their product better and better. The key to their success has been their data – they know everything about their users: their likes, interests, age, location, the pages they like and follow – Facebook are becoming the Oracle.

So when they announced their new advertising feature at the f8 conference this week it was no big surprise, but make no mistake, the new Audience Network is going to be huge.

The Audience Network is going to be offering banner, interstitial and native ads and they’ll be available via Facebook’s existing advertising service.

Audience Network Ad Types

Image Credit: Facebook

The Audience Network will allow app developers to place Facebook ads directly into their apps, and it will allow marketers to display their ads inside the apps. There are already a number of existing advertising solutions out there for advertising on mobile, but none of them have what Facebook has – the data.

One of the hardest things about advertising is getting your ad shown to the right people – the ones who would be interested in your product, the ones who you want to reach and who are most likely to click on the ad and find out more.

Because Facebook has the data marketers will now be able to put their ads directly in front of the right audience, and if you’ve been using FB advertising then you’ll already know how you can hyper target your leads by using all the demographic data available, and also take advantage of the killer custom and lookalike audience features to reach new prospects.

The difference with the new Audience Network is that you’ll now be able to extend your advertising inside native apps on mobile devices.

Why Is This So Huge?

It’s so huge because the stats have shown that the way people are consuming their online content is increasingly moving towards mobile, take a quick look at this stat from a recent report by Flurry:

Flurry App Domination

Image Credit: Flurry

The Flurry report says that the average consumer spends over 2 hours per day on a mobile device, and as you can see from their chart above 86% of that is spent inside apps.

People are moving to mobile, and they have been for a while, so you need to put your ads where the people are going to see them, and all the data has increasingly shown that the place to go is inside apps.

There are other app advertising solutions out there, but none of them have Facebook’s data set and none of them will allow you target your prospects as accurately – this is why the Audience Network is going to be so huge.

If you’re an app developer and you want to get started you can apply to the Audience Network Beta here, and if you’re an advertiser who wants to use the service then keep an eye out for when Facebook makes it live as part of their existing service over the next few months.

Take a watch of the official video from Facebook about the new Audience Network:

Dan.