F8: Industry Experts React to Announcements

Tim Maytom

mark zuckerberg at f8 2015Yesterday saw Facebook announce a range of new features at its annual f8 developer conference, including making videos hosted on the social network embeddable on other websites, transforming its Messenger service into a platform that third-party apps can be integrated into, the introduction of analytics for Facebook-powered apps and an expansion of its LiveRail mobile advertising product.

Many of the announcements see the social network position itself more than ever as a rival to Google on several fronts, offering an alternative to YouTube with its video service and DoubleClick with its ad-serving technology.

We asked a number of experts in mobile marketing what they took from the announcements, and how we can expect Facebook to continue to transform the digital advertising world.

"Facebook is trying to become a platform that touches all parts of the mobile ecosystem," said Debra Aho Williamson, principal analyst at eMarketer. "A key story going forward will be the extent to which other companies agree to Facebook's terms. That will indicate just how successful Facebook is becoming at exerting its power and influence across the mobile landscape."

Facebook's addition of analytic tools for apps powered by the company may go a long way to bringing new developers to the platform, adding a crucial element for companies looking to track how their apps are engaged with.

oren kaniel"Facebook's new analytics tool for mobile app marketers is a great resource for those who aren't already using a solution to track and measure the performance of their app install campaigns," said Oren Kaniel, CEO and co-founder of AppsFlyer. "In this day and age it is absolutely crucial that app marketers understand where their highest and lowest quality installs are coming from so that they can optimise their campaigns accordingly. Facebook is still very committed to its MMP program, of which we are a part, and we work very closely with them to ensure the program's success."

"While developers in consumer-oriented enterprises likely already have Facebook's platform services in their organisation's portfolio, most don't yet recognise it as strategic. But they ought to," said Jeffrey Hammond, lead application development analyst at Forrester.

"Enterprise application platforms will need to do more than just provide services for building and maintaining enterprise applications. They will need to evolve into a digital platform, capable of also supporting commerce functions, customer-facing services, and connected-product applications. Digital platforms like Facebook's address the customer quadrant, providing a bridge between enterprises and a very large set of individuals around the world."

Facebook's changes to LiveRail will have a substantial effect on those looking to use the social network for mobile advertising, which will become increasingly important as more and more people access Facebook through smartphones and tablets.

"Today's Facebook/LiveRail announcement, with its combined video and display programmatic solution, offers publishers with remnant video inventory the opportunity to streamline their SSP/exchange partnerships," said Susan Bidel, analyst for Forrester. "Most premium publishers with direct sales teams will continue to monetise their video inventory directly. Publishers with robust first-party data are already capable of delivering audience targeting with a degree of granularity across desktop.

"In digital ad sales, however, the majority of targeting initiatives is driven by the buy side. In mobile, Facebook's person-based targeting capabilities will complement that of publishers today, and will likely be appealing to ad buyers."