- Facebook on April 11 will shut down Audience Network, its digital platform for advertisers to extend their campaigns outside of its social media platform, on mobile websites. The decision to end the service was based on a shift in advertiser demand to other mobile app ad formats, the company said in a blog post.
- The social media giant will continue to support existing in-stream video and mobile web placements until April 10. After that, it won't provide any demand in response to bids and ad requests for third-party web and in-stream placements, per the blog post.
- Facebook recommended that providers of ad space remove all Audience Network web and in-stream placements from client or server-side bidding setups to reduce latency starting on April 11. The company will save report data in its system for six months after that date, providing access to active accounts, per the blog post.
Facebook's decision to shutter Audience Network for mobile websites may be in response to recent changes by companies like Google and Apple to limit audience tracking with third-party cookies amid growing concerns about privacy and brand safety, along with legal restrictions on data-sharing. Mobile marketers who ran campaigns through Audience Network will have to find other ways to buy media on the mobile web.
This decision may foretell Facebook's abandonment of ad placements outside its family of apps including the main social network and Instagram, which generated $20 billion in ad sales last year, per a recent report. The company has steadily scaled back its efforts to place ads on third-party apps and websites in the past few years.
Facebook four years ago shut down LiveRail, a programmatic video ad exchange business, after scaling back the operations of a company it had acquired just two years prior. Facebook's pullback in ad tech included the closure of FBX, the desktop ad exchange it had built in-house, that same month. Later that year, Facebook started to shutter its Atlas demand-side ad-buying platform it bought from Microsoft in 2013. The social media behemoth in 2018 announced plans to stop Audience Network's connected TV service by early last year, Digiday reported.