By: Jessica Guynn
SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook says it will help marketers show ads to all Internet users who visit websites or mobile apps that are in its ad network, not just Facebook users.
“Today, we’re expanding Audience Network so publishers and developers can show better ads to everyone — including those who don’t use or aren’t connected to Facebook,” Andrew Bosworth, vice president of ads and business platform, said in a blog post.
Previously Facebook showed ads to Facebook users on other websites, using information the company had collected about users’ interests and by installing cookies on browsers.
This kind of ad tracking is common on the Internet but could help Facebook’s growing advertising machine by significantly increasing the volume of ads that the social media company places on the Internet. Facebook generated more than $17 billion in ad revenue in 2015.
People who are not Facebook users will be able to opt out of the ads from Facebook. Facebook users can also opt out of seeing ads outside of Facebook.
“By offering higher quality ads and more user control Facebook hopes to address some of the frustrations that mobile users have been expressing explicitly and implicitly in the form of ad blocking,” wrote Greg Sterling, a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.
Facebook launched its Audience Network two years ago to place ads outside of Facebook, targeting users on mobile apps and, starting earlier this year, on mobile websites that belong to the ad network.