A week after it confirmed it is rolling back its LiveRail operations to concentrate on its Facebook Audience Network (FAN), it has been revealed the social network is also rolling out the publisher monetisation business to include mobile web inventory. A move that can be seen as a further encroachment on business that would have been the primary domain of Google.
AdExchanger reports that Facebook is working with up to 10 publishers to run ads bought through FAN on mobile web inventory (formerly its services were only available on mobile app inventory), just a week after Facebook has confirmed the reports, although it is not yet clear as to whether the beta test is confined to the US side of the Atlantic.
The Drum contacted Facebook for further clarification but it was unable to respond by time of publication, but the move was confirmed after the social network overhauled its publisher monetisation business - an area that is currently dominated by Google's host alternatives DoubleClick for publishers (DFP), AdSense, etc.
Last week Facebook was keen to point out that such was the success of FAN, that the number of publishers using it has grown ten-fold each year since its launch, with this unit of the business achieving an annual run-rate of a billion dollars a year in the fourth quarter.
He further speculated that a probable motivation could be to focus on the stability of LiveRail's tech (which it bought in 2014), similar to how Facebook decided to fundamentally rebuild the Atlas ad tech stack after buying it from Microsoft in 2013.
He added: "In this case, it seems they've decided that managing the legacy system wasn't worth the distraction in the meantime.
“Another motivation could be that big publishers were not terribly comfortable relying on Facebook for such a structurally critical solution such as ad serving.
"Given the amount of access to inventory and pricing insights that would be ceded, arguably their largest competitor for ad dollars, it wouldn't be surprising to hear that FB decided to focus on other areas where they had a greater short term opportunity.”