During its annual F8 developer conference Facebook announced a slew of new features, some geared toward businesses. One of the biggest services unveiled at F8 was the Facebook Audience Network, which will serve ads much like Google Adwords.
A significant portion of Facebook's revenue is already tied to advertising on its own Web site and to its services, but with the Audience Network, ads will be displayed on non-Facebook Web sites. By doing this, the social network is going up against other companies that are also trying to enter the mobile advertising space.
Developers and companies have a lot to gain from the new ad network, especially when combined with advances in Facebook's developer tools service. A handful of upgrades have been made to developer tools, all of which should facilitate a steady release of new applications.
Facebook Audience Network
Of all the changes that are being made to Facebook's business strategy, the Audience Network may be the most important. The new mobile app-based advertising service will provide companies with a way to reach consumers without being limited to Facebook itself.
Earlier this year, Facebook began to test the network with a handful of partners to determine how the ads would work if they weren't directly on Facebook. Since the trial run was presumably successful, the Audience Network has been created to facilitate a much larger group of advertisers.
The more precise an ad network is, the more revenue a company can receive for every dollar that it spends. Given the massive amount of personal information that Facebook has, ads on the site have continued to generate revenue for advertisers. Now that those same ads will be seen on non-Facebook apps, businesses have a new way to connect with consumers.
It is now easier than ever for a consumer to see a mobile application advertisement and install the app on his device. However, if the ads being shown are not relevant, neither the consumer nor the business benefits. Since there are very few competitors in this field, Facebook's Audience Network could become the mobile app-based version of Google Adwords.
The F8 conference did not just focus on businesses however, since individual users remain the backbone of the site. As a result, Facebook is addressing some privacy concerns with a new feature called anonymous login. While the name may be misleading -- the feature doesn't affect logging into Facebook -- it is important for those who use Facebook to connect with other services.
Social logins are widespread, with many sites allowing users to log in with either e-mail addresses or their Facebook accounts. The primary downside associated with using Facebook credentials is that the site a Facebook user logs into gains access to that Facebook user's information. With anonymous login, that is no longer an issue, since a user can choose to prevent any of his data from being shared with another site.
Facebook is currently working with just a handful of developers to roll out anonymous login, but the social network plans to open it up to more developers in the future.