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Facebook Offers New Features at F8

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Facebook (FB - Free Report) announced a number of new features in its F8 global developer conference, which reflected its continuing focus on improving user engagement and monetization on mobile. Shares increased 2.8% to close at $59.78 on Apr 30 following the announcement.

The social network announced a mobile ad network called Facebook Audience Network (FAN), to deliver ads to third-party apps. The network significantly expands Facebook’s total addressable market (TAM).

Facebook’s massive user base and its ability to track personal details over time, both from its own platform and non-Facebook apps, make it a formidable force in the mobile ad market. Based on this ability, Facebook is well position to command premium mobile ad pricing amid significant competition from Google’s AdMob and Twitter’s (TWTR - Free Report) MoPub.

Facebook announced that it is lowering parse pricing, which will enable developers to built apps at a lower cost. As part of the new policy, developers will get free access to updated analytics package. The company also announced a new offline datastore for parse users, which will help them to access parse in areas with limited connectivity.

Facebook introduced App links, which will enable developers to interconnect mobile apps across diversified mobile platforms including Apple’s (AAPL - Free Report) iOS, Google’s Android and Microsoft’s (MSFT - Free Report) Windows Phone. App Links will help users to access content from within the app.

In order to encourage mobile start-ups, Facebook launched a new Fbstart program. The company is offering resources and tools from different partners that include the likes Adobe, appurify, salesforce desk, Quip and The social networking company also announced that it will continue to support old developer APIs for two years.

Facebook introduced features that allow users to restrict the amount of personal information they are willing to share with third-party mobile apps. The social network also launched “anonymous login” feature for third-party mobile apps, which will allow a user to visit the app without divulging personal information from Facebook.

The company also let users to share content from apps through Facebook messenger and also introduced a “mobile Like button”, which users can use to like pages or contents of third-party apps.

We note that Facebook’s recent acquisition of WhatsApp and Oculus are long-term growth opportunities. The initiative is also long-term focused. In such a scenario, Facebook’s expanding TAM, improving developer base and focus on user engagement will help it to drive advertising revenues.

Additionally, robust growth in Instagram and WhatsApp user base, strategic acquisitions and initiatives such as are compelling positives.

Currently, Facebook has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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