Facebook to begin using your personal data to help other apps advertise

Meet Facebook's Audience Network

Published October 7, 2014 9:13PM (EDT)

  (Reuters/Stephen Lam)
(Reuters/Stephen Lam)

On Tuesday, Facebook introduced yet another way to monetize personal data and bombard users with advertisements.

It's called Audience Network, and it will allow other mobile apps to tap into Facebook's resources, and partner with the social network to place specific ads on their applications.

Other apps can download Audience Network, chose the type of advertisement they'd like and "Facebook's network of advertisers, using Facebook's accurate targeting, shows your audience ads they want to see." a promotional video states.

Basically, if you are an app developer, rather than spending the time and money analyzing the small amounts of data that you do have, you go through Facebook.

With Audience Network, advertisers get more opportunities to target specific users, which they'll pay more for because Facebook has troves of user data including sites and mobile apps users visit when not on Facebook. Developers will also be able to monetize their apps, and Facebook will take a slice of the pie.

What does this mean for users? Facebook's spin on the whole venture is that users will get more specific advertisements that are relevant to them! Goodie more advertisements! It also means that more apps are going to gain from Facebook's collection of data to specifically target ads -- banner ads, native content, etc. -- for profit.

Some apps are already using Audience Network. Case studies include music-identifying app, Shazam, the maker of "Kim Kardashian: Hollywood" and the creators of "Diamond Dash."

By Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on innovation. Follow @sarahhhgray or email sgray@salon.com.

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