With the sunset of the Atlas ad server recently, Facebook completed another phase in their quest to shift their ad-tech strategy from an end-to-end horizontal stack to a vertical consolidated structure based on their own platform. This process has seen the social media giant shutter multiple ad-tech offerings, including LiveRail and FBX.
Only one offering remains. Facebook Audience Network (FAN) enables advertisers to buy inventory on external media properties using Facebook’s targeting, and enjoys a run rate of over $1B. It functions as a channel for Facebok to drive additional ad revenue which isn’t reliant on the News Feed - a critical advantage considering that an admission by Facebook that the News Feed would soon run out of ad space caused an 8% drop in after-hours trading this quarter.
But a few hurdles face FAN. Facebook has been relatively late in the game to offering video ads through FAN, which are fast becoming the preferred ad unit for both brands and performance marketers. In addition, Marketers using FAN don’t enjoy a lot of transparency on where exactly their ads are being shown. With the recent measurement issues surrounding Facebook, this lack of transparency could be a deterrence for marketers.