Facebook launched a mobile advertising network at its F8 developer conference, giving it the ability to target users across the applications they use while targeting them based on the information they have shared with Facebook. Facebook Audience Network, as the new product is called, will allow brands to advertise on third-party apps using Facebook's detailed targeting data. The network, which Facebook has been testing since 2012, will let advertisers use both standard banner ads and custom units. It will compete with companies like AdMob and InMobi. and Twitter, which has taken a similar approach to mobile advertising since acquiring the ad network MoPub last year.
Mobile advertising has been hugely successful for Facebook, which says it has 1 million advertisers using its platform. Its signature mobile ad, which lets developers advertise app installations, now accounts for 59 percent of the company's ad revenue. Zuckerberg said Wednesday that Facebook has been responsible for 1 billion app installations to date. "I'm really excited about this Audience Network," Zuckerberg told developers. "This is really the first time that we're going to help you monetize in a serious way on mobile."
The mobile ad network was one of a number of new services Facebook is now offering to advertisers on developers. The company is also adding a way for apps to link to one another without sending users to the mobile web, a mobile like button to drive viral traffic, and a way to share items from third-party apps using Facebook Messenger.
Correction: This story previously said Audience Network would compete with Twitter's MoPub product. MoPub lets publishers fill inventory with ads from multiple networks, including Facebook's, and so does not compete directly for now.