Meet Vastal Mehta, man behind Facebook's successful ad business

Facebook earned a whopping $17.37 billion in digital ad revenue in the US in the third quarter of 2017.

Meet Vastal Mehta, man behind Facebook's successful ad business

San Francisco: Facebook owes Indian-origin engineer Vastal Mehta a lot for its success in generating billions of dollars in ad revenues every year as he steers the team that works with advertisers to build the technology and infrastructure needed to run more effective campaigns on the platform.

When he started out on this in 2010, Mehta was the lone engineer in the team and now serves as Facebook`s Director of Solutions Engineering and leads a team of more than 100 people which is responsible for Facebook`s huge ad revenues.

According to emarketer.com, Facebook earned a whopping $17.37 billion in digital ad revenue in the US in the third quarter of 2017 and is expected to reach $21.57 billion in 2018 and $25.56 billion in 2019.

Mehta said that when he first started working on this seven years ago, it was a very different landscape, both for mobile and for Facebook -- which had not introduced advertising into the News Feed at that time.

According to Tech Crunch, at this time the company was trying to shift in a big way towards mobile and advertisers were finding it difficult to adapt to the change.

"For example, travel companies didn`t have teams set up to reach consumers with mobile advertising. We knew that we needed to invest in helping businesses build infrastructure to power their mobile advertising, so I started a team that could help businesses in this sort of bespoke way," Mehta was quoted as saying.

Mehta realised this and is now working to offer its biggest advertisers some degree of technical support by building the products.

Mehta said dynamic ads were first inspired by the complaints of an advertiser he was meeting with in Hamburg, Germany and he then worked with the Facebook Ads team to create a prototype eventually leading to a more polished product and broader availability.

Facebook said that, on average, clients working with the solutions engineering team see their return on ad spend improve by 100 per cent.

Mehta said that Facebook is now increasingly spending time in incorporating more machine learning into solutions and driving efficiency through technology.

"This includes building better optimisation tools that help the client without them needing to adjust and turn nobs in the interface. We see this as a huge area of investment across our business over the next year," he was quoted as saying.

Earlier this month, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said that the social media giant would take a closer look at its advertising policies to ensure that advertisers do not use Facebook tools in a discriminatory way.

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