Facebook yesterday began its annual F8 developer conference and made various new announcements for developers. Here’s ADTEKR’s analysis of what was covered on the first day:
One of the key takeaways from an ad tech perspective is the expansion of the LiveRail platform. LiveRail, an ad exchange which was bought by Facebook last year, is to be expanded from just video ads to include in-app mobile display ads (and native ads in particular).
This brings LiveRail into clear and direct competition with Twitter’s MoPub and Google’s DoubleClick Ad Exchange, both of which are well-established ad exchanges and dominant in the market. MoPub, for example, has arrangements in place with 140 DSPs via which the DSPs’ clients bid on the MoPub ad exchange. In this respect, Facebook has some ground to catch up but given the vast amount of user profile information which Facebook has and the rise of Facebook’s Atlas (which ADTEKR talked about earlier this month), Facebook is in a prime position to do this. LiveRail will also now incorporate Facebook’s Audience Network (announced at last year’s F8 conference) to help publishers serve better targeted ads on platforms outside of Facebook, using data from user profiles on Facebook.
Facebook Messenger to be its own platform
Another important move for ad tech is that Facebook Messenger will be opened up to third party app developers to add new functionalities to Messenger. Users will be able to install apps from the Messenger App Store and make purchases inside the app to incorporate things into their conversations.
The platform opened up to developers yesterday but Facebook already has in place 40 launch partners, including ESPN, Imgur and The Weather Channel.
This is clearly a new and exciting opportunity for developers, one which gives them access to the huge Facebook Messenger user base and their data. For example, provided they have necessary opt-in consents, retailers can now pair consumer accounts from their own website with Messenger accounts, enabling those consumers to chat with that retailer and see shipping details, or even change an order. This comes on the back of Facebook’s announcement last week that users will soon be able to make payments to other Facebook users through the Messenger app. It also helps to explain why Facebook last year decided to move the personal messaging aspect of Facebook onto a standalone app.
App Analytic Tool
Facebook has also announced a new ad analytics tool for mobile developers. This will let mobile developers track their app install campaigns, allowing developers to learn more about their app adverts which appear on Facebook and more about the users which engage with the adverts. For example, what type of demographic is clicking on the advertisements, what websites have they come from prior to clicking on the advert and which websites do they go to after clicking on the advert.
The tool will certainly be useful for developers as it gives them access to some of Facebook’s valuable user data and a more effective means of measuring the success of app advertising on Facebook and other social media platforms. Developers may however be concerned about the reliability and impartiality of Facebook’s analytic tool and the potential for the numbers (and measurements of campaign success) will be skewed towards Facebook and to showing a successful Facebook campaign.
Facebook videos to be embeddable across the Internet
Videos which are published on Facebook can now be embedded elsewhere on the Internet, making it easier for content hosted on the Facebook platform to be visible on third party sites. The move is seen to be a challenge to YouTube and it will certainly widen the potential reach of videos on Facebook (and, if they were to include advertising, embedded video streams would add another revenue stream for Facebook).
Zuckerberg also announced some interesting headline figures:
over the last 5 years, Facebook has paid $8 billion to developers building apps on its platform;
more than 90% of the top 100 apps in iOS and Android are integrated with Facebook; and
apps are now requesting 50% fewer permissions than last year.