- Facebook announced in a company blog post that its Facebook Audience Network (FAN) now serves ads to 1 billion people worldwide on a monthly basis.
- The post also pointed out that businesses and publishers using FAN are able to reach 16% more people than by advertising on Facebook and Instagram alone. Facebook suggested that, on average, "advertisers see a 12% increase in conversions for website campaigns, and a 17% increase in installs for mobile app campaigns."
- Eighty-three percent of the ads served via FAN are native, and Brian Boland, VP of publisher solutions at Facebook, told Adweek that video consumption grew 10x over 2016 as well.
FAN's audience is now mostly mobile, as Adweek points out, and the prevalence of both native and video ads on the platform show how those content types are becoming dominant for the channel, especially as old-hat, intrusive formats like interstitials become a thing of the past.
In December, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) predicted that 2017 would see more marketers shifting budgets from display to native ad units. While native is increasing in popularity, it continues to face challenges, as recent MediaRadar reports showed disappointing native ad renewal rates in 2016, likely stemming from publishers' inability to effectively implement and measure native spots for their advertising partners.
The rapid acceleration in video ads served through FAN is another indicator that the medium is heading into a big year. Facebook has suggested in the past that almost all of the content shared through its core platform may be video within the next several years, and there's no reason to believe that trend won't extend to its Audience network as well. App install ads are another hot item for developers, as the blog post highlights, and Snapchat, which is quickly becoming one of Facebook's key competitors, has shown its interest in the space.
The Facebook announcement pointed to a number of enhancements to FAN made over the past 12 months, including beta testing with mobile publishers in January to remove publishers that didn’t meet Facebook’s quality standards; changes in how the platform values ad placements and publishers in October; and addressing the issue of fake news sites in December.
Facebook also highlighted brand success stories using FAN such as Visa promoting Visa Checkout and expanding its reach 15% with one campaign, along with seeing 2x more efficient cost per acquisition in another effort that combined FAN and Facebook advertising. After adding video in May, FAN achieved 67% of video impressions resulting in 10-second views, and Universal Music received a 10% increase in brand awareness through a video ad campaign.