Facebook announced last week that it will start moving ads out to all people who visit websites in its Audience Network, and not just Facebook users. In other words, it has unleashed its monstrous mobile ad network, horrifying none other than Google and its AdSense network. Since 3Q Digital CEO David Rodnitzky predicted this would happen more than a year ago, we’ll let him kick off this round of immediate reactions to Facebook’s move.
David Rodnitzky: Facebook and Google have two huge advantages over anyone else online: First they have the majority of users logged in at any time across multiple devices. Second they have a huge network of appetizers, which means that they can monetize traffic better than anyone else. A large percentage of Google’s revenue comes from their Adsense network, so it makes sense that Facebook would want to grab marketshare away in this area.
Chris Thomas, Chief Innovation Officer, Sierra Club: Facebook has been really successful at turning the Internet inside-out, and this continues down that road. It could give them a really big advantage over Google (which pretty much failed at social so doesn’t have as great a range of user-provided data), and I think it’ll help them reach their goals in online video. People need to be cognizant that Facebook is an advertising company and that opting in and providing it all your information can be quite Orwellian. Now you appear to be a Facebook data point even if you’re just using the Internet.
Maria Coletta, Director of Acquisio’s Trading Desk: This is a decisive move toward gaining more control and unlocking a new revenue stream for the social media giant. The emphasis moves away from site relevance and toward placing major importance on the actual user. Delivering ads to consumers based on their interests is far more pertinent than a bombardment of generically oriented ads.
Jordan Cohen, CMO of Fluent: I have every reason to believe this move by Facebook will be a successful one. The subtle difference is that they will not be able to deterministically target individuals who are logged-in Facebook users the way they are able to with the core Facebook Audience Network product. This will be more of an attempt to prove their data analytics chops and to drive precision targeting of non-Facebook users by drawing behavioral correlations with users. Facebook is on a tear right now, and pretty much any carrot it dangles in front of advertisers and agencies is going to get chomped on.