Advertisers have so far had limited options when it comes to scaling ad campaigns on Facebook. That could soon change as the social network has officially launched its Marketing API Program.
The program gives companies access to Facebook's advertising platform, enabling the creation of tools that make it possible to build and manage campaigns in bulk, track ad performance, and execute different bidding strategies. Previously, only a handful of companies had access to the social network's advertising platform, and some would add additional fees of their own, or take a piece of total spending.
Since Facebook had given access to just a few select partners, major advertisers and their agencies had to cut them in one way or another. Now, hundreds of companies that meet certain requirements and pass a screening conducted by Facebook will be given access to the advertising platform.
The Pages API and Insights API are open to the public and do not require an application, meaning you can immediately start building applications that help marketers with their Page management and Insights measurement activities. To gain access to the Ads API, however, you must submit an online application that shows how you will build value for both users and marketers (you should get a response within two weeks).
The Ads API had been in limited private beta since late 2009, according to Inside Facebook, but now it's finally opening up. To get started, read the "Getting started on the Marketing APIs" (PDF) and make sure you excel at the following acceptance criteria:
- Your understanding of the digital marketing space and Facebook's Marketing Solutions in particular.
- The creativity of your proposed implementation or tool, and how it provides differentiated value from Facebook's native apps and existing tools.
- Your ability to allocate dedicated development resources to your Marketing API implementation.
- Your focus on serving a specific segment of the market with a customized Facebook Marketing Solutions experience.
Opening up the Marketing APIs to a broader audience should result in the release of many new tools that will, in the end, make advertising on Facebook a more efficient process. The concrete results of Facebook advertising is still unclear, but that hasn't stopped brands from pouring money into ads on the world's largest social network: 750 million users and counting.
"Over a million developers have already built socially focused applications on Facebook platform," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. "Our marketing API program supports developers who are building applications for marketers – tools that make it easier, for instance, for marketers to build and engage their communities on Facebook Pages, to amplify word of mouth via marketplace advertising and sponsored stories, and to effectively measure social engagement via custom dashboards. These apps are built on one or more of our marketing APIs: Open Graph, Pages, Ads, or Insights APIs. It’s important to note that these APIs are available directly to marketers who are building in-house tools for their own use, and also to third-party developers or agencies who want to license their tools to marketers."