A couple of years ago, Facebook acquired ad tech company and publisher monetization platform LiveRail, but since then, Audience Network has become much more of a priority.
Facebook announced that it will no longer accept new customers for LiveRail's ad server, and will work on helping existing customers transition to other publisher products or alternative ad servers.
This is mainly an effort to put more emphasis on its more modern Audience Network.
"Over the past two years, a growing number of mobile app publishers have found success – better returns and more relevant advertising – through Facebook's Audience Network and the people-based marketing approach that powers it," says Facebook's Alvin Bowles. "We have seen the number of apps on Audience Network increase 10x YoY, and agencies and advertisers like Dentsu Aegis, Home Depot and Spotify continue to see great results. In fact, apps running on the Audience Network account for 6% of all time spent in mobile apps. In Q4 we reached a $1B annual run rate for advertising spend through the Audience Network, with the bulk of that value being passed to publishers, and the remainder being recorded as net revenue for Facebook."
Facebook says the changes will enable it to focus its attention on growing Audience Network and LiveRail's private marketplaces and mediation services. Publishers will still be able to work with LiveRail and Audience Network to monetize and manage their ad inventory.
"As we build out LiveRail's programmatic private marketplaces and mediation services, we will continue to focus on native and video," says Bowles. "We believe native and video are key ad formats and that programmatic platforms are the best way through which to deliver them. LiveRail already powers about 75 programmatic private marketplaces for some of the world's largest publishers, including Hulu and A+E Networks."
TechCrunch shares some additional insight into Facebook's thinking after speaking with the company's head of advertising technology, who notes that the change isn't particularly dramatic as the LiveRail ad server only represents "tens of clients, well under 100".
Image via Facebook