Facebook Advertising Gets Serious With its "Marketing Suite"

Kin Lane
Aug. 03 2011, 10:37AM EDT

Facebook has launched a new suite of marketing APIs and taken its Facebook Ads API out of private beta. The suite gives developers, ad agencies, and marketers programmatic access to pages, advertising, and analytics for their social media marketing campaigns. In addition to the Ads API, the suite includes the Insights API for building social analytics tools, and Pages API for building and accessing pages and their fields, connections, events, links, notes, photos, and videos. Both are officially part of the Facebook Graph API.

The marketing suite for developers can automate their presence across Facebook Pages and Facebook's Ad Network.

Inside Facebook explains the history:

The Ads API had been in limited private beta since late 2009, and has been used by brands via third-party providers to run and optimize multi-million dollar ad campaigns too complex to conducted through Facebook’s self-serve ad tool. Developers can now apply to join the program, which may lead to the rise of many new Ads API tool and service providers.

The native Facebook marketing platform is robust; however it cannot serve the needs of the larger and speciality advertisers, and Facebook is looking for the development community to deliver in this area. Developers will be able to auto-generate large volumes of varying ad permutations to serve very large or even niche social advertising campaigns.

The Page API and Insights API are open to the public and do not require an approval process, but the Ads API does require developers submit an online application and get approval from Facebook before working with the API.

Facebook’s new Marketing APIs will enable social advertisers to dramatically increase the volume and focus of their advertising campaigns, growing Facebook's ad revenue. While Google is playing catchup when it comes to social network, Facebook is making solid moves to challenge Google when it comes to advertising, with the launch of its new marketing APIs. In the age of social advertising will Facebook dominate with its strong social platform, or will Google+ gain enough momentum with the help of Google Adsense and Adwords to win?

Kin Lane I am a programmer and entrepreneur, with a focus on the business of APIs. I study how APIs are changing the business landscape, and the rise of API driven developer ecosystems. I share my insights by blogging on API Evangelist and ProgrammableWeb, and put into action as API evangelist for CityGrid.

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[...] Despite reports to the contrary, two public statements from Twitter say there is no advertising API to auto-post Twitter ads, otherwise known as promoted tweets. The rumored tool would allow high volume advertisers to programmatically create campaigns. An API is a great way for a platform to scale its advertising operations, as we’ve seen with the Facebook Ads API, which launched with the Facebook Marketing Suite in August. [...]