Facebook is an online juggernaut; a powerful network of people, trends, and advertising.  And like any business, Facebook has to continue to find new ways to expand revenue if it wants to be able to keep pace with its user growth; and so, Facebook has figured how to use more third party advertising to turn its 1.65 billion users into an $18 billion advertising business.

facebooklogoAnd now Facebook could ads to you even if that company does not have an actual Facebook account.

“Because we have a core audience of over a billion people [on Facebook] who we do understand, we have a greater opportunity than other companies using the same tpe of mechanism,” explains Facebook ad and business platform vice president Andrew Bosworth.

Now, there is nothing new about Facebook tracking internet browsing and use among members. The network has been doing this for years to improving advertising but it only very recently started using the same system for third-party advertisers.

Facebook will do this through something called the “Audience Network.”  Basically, any company can add a “Facebook like” button to their site or their ad. If a user clicks it, that “like” will be added to that Facebook users growing list of preferences. It will also allow advertising to reach those who do not have a Facebook profile.

This is an effort to reach other 40 percent of web users who are not on Facebook.  There are more than 3 billion people on the web and Google has managed to grow a successful $24 billion display ad business, putting Facebook’s numbers to shame.

“As big as Facebook is, consumers will always spend a substantial amount of time off Facebook,” notes Ari Paparo, who is the CEO of ad tech startup Beeswax (formerly of both Google and DoubleClick). “The point of Audience Network is to use their enormous user base and data set to monetize that off-Facebook time more effectively than anyone else can.”

But Facebook has built a different kind of business, and continues to work towards evolving into a “one-stop-shop” for all advertising.  Their hope, it seems, is to become a more powerful ad tech system—perhaps the most powerful—aimed, mostly at fraud prevention. “We are focused on value. If a publisher is doing things with a lot of robots, well, it turns out robots don’t buy products,” shares Brian Boland, who is Facebook’s VP of advertising technology when Audience Network’s mobile expansion launched.

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