Life used to be much simpler for Google; the tracking cookie, so en vogue during the pre-smartphone era, is falling out of favour. Thanks to the rise of the smartphone, a large portion of Internet data packets that used to be sent over the browser are now being sent from apps, which render the tracking cookie largely useless. It’s for this reason that for so long, playing a few rounds of Angry Birds resulted in ads being served that might as well have tried to sell Windows Vista to Tim Cook.
Where people once scoffed at the idea of Facebook actually making money off its mobile app, our latest report on Mobile Context and Location Services illustrates that social media apps provide a superb platform from which to draw (anonymised) information about the user base in order to serve more relevant adverts. With Zuck’s advertising machine now in full flow, his company has just announced a solution that may spare Mr.Cook’s annoyance during a quick game on the ‘ighway to work. Luckily for Zuckerberg, the Count is on hand to count those $1.8bn quarterly revenues.
The premise is simple: developers link in to Facebook’s Audience network when adding ads to their app, allowing marketers to purchase ad space based on targeting data supplied by Facebook. Ergo: if you have a Facebook account, the data the Network has on you can be used to deliver more appropriate ads during your early morning mullings (sic) over which clan to clash with.
This represents a huge challenge for Google, which also relies heavily on ad revenue. So far the latter’s attempts to recreate its AdWords success on mobile have struggled, particularly in the case of ads served within apps. Nonetheless, with a $30 billion slice of the pie up for grabs, it will be interesting to see what Larry and Sergey will cook up next.
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