Facebook Announces 'FAN' Mobile Ad Network at Developer Event

This morning at its developer conference in San Francisco Facebook is expected to make two significant mobile announcements. First it will announce what it's calling "Facebook Audience Network," a mobile ad network that will leverage Facebook data for ad targeting in third party developer apps. 

Facebook has been working on and refining this since 2012 and the formal announcement is expected today. This will instantly make Facebook a major mobile ad network and primary rival to Google in the mobile ad space. It may also foreshadow a broader introduction of an AdSense-like display network for the PC too. 

The other expected major announcement is a payments API. This will streamline the user payment experience (form filling) in third party commerce apps. It will also lead to more user/conversion data for Facebook. 

As the mobile payments battle heats up Facebook could quickly become tier-one player, along with PayPal, Apple, Amazon and Google. The open question is whether consumer-users will trust Facebook with their payments and credit card information. Many already do.

Both of these opportunities are natural, logical and very large for Facebook.

In its recent Q1 earnings report Facebook said that it had 609 million mobile daily active users and total mobile users of 1.01 billion. Mobile ad revenue represented approximately 59% of ad revenues for the first quarter of 2014, up from approximately 30% in the first quarter of 2013.

Update: The Facebook Audience Network mobile ad network was announced but not the payments API (so far).