Why Facebook Is Going After Google

February 3, 2016

Digital Marketing Bradley Hearn By Bradley Hearn

Facebook IconIs Facebook going after Google? Sort of. At the very least, it’s certainly making a strong play for a bigger share of mobile advertising dollars.

Facebook recently announced that it’s expanding its Audience Network (FAN) advertising from apps to also include mobile sites — the traditional domain of Google AdSense. It’s the schoolyard equivalent of Facebook walking up to the search giant, squaring its shoulders and throwing a well-placed punch.

These two e-commerce heavyweights traditionally don’t encroach on one another’s territory, but given the amount of money up for grabs, it’s not surprising to see Facebook get aggressive in the ad realm.

Advertising is obviously of huge interest to Facebook. It recently revealed that it generated $5.637 billion in advertising revenue during the fourth quarter alone. And the overwhelming majority of that revenue — $4.5 billion — was generated by mobile ads. 

As mobile traffic continues to rise across the board, Facebook anticipates growing its share of ad revenue right along with it. It’s hoping to be for mobile what Google AdSense is to desktop, and it’s starting with mobile news sites.

According to Facebook, average news sites receive approximately 40% of their traffic from mobile devices and 93% of their mobile audiences come from mobile websites (as opposed to mobile apps). This expansion will allow retailers and brands to use the same advanced targeting capabilities that they use on Facebook to now target users outside of Facebook on their mobile devices. 

The social media company is working with multiple global publishers like Hearst, Slate, Answers.com, Elite Daily, Diply, Cracked, Vuclip, La Place Media, USA Today Sports Media Group and Time Inc. to test the service in a closed beta. Facebook currently has 2.5 million advertisers.

Facebook’s Audience Network supports the popular native ad format, as well as native video, banners and interstitial formats.

All in all, it’s a bold move. But why not? Years ago, it made a lot of “sense” for Google.

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