DoubleClick Ad Tracking Now Allowed on Facebook

Facebook has certified DoubleClick for ad impression tracking, ending an unofficial policy against Google technologies on its platform.

Sources tell AdExchanger Facebook’s decision went into effect in the last two weeks. It’s undoubtedly good news for DoubleClick and its customers, who will now be able to track and attribute Facebook campaign impressions alongside their other online ad placements.

While the move suggests a thawing of Facebook’s historically chilly stance toward Google, it’s important to point out it comes amid a general liberalization of Facebook’s third party ad tracking program. Late last month Facebook confirmed Microsoft’s Atlas ad server as a preferred tracking provider. And two weeks ago it granted tracking certification to Adometry, a pure play attribution vendor. So this may be less about Google than it is about honoring advertiser requests for third party measurement.

At least one other Facebook embargo against Google still stands. DoubleClick Bid Manager – the DSP previously known as Invite Media – is conspicuously excluded from the list of DSPs permitted to access RTB inventory on the Facebook Exchange. Facebook Exchange still represents a very small fraction of Facebook’s marketplace ad inventory, so that’s something that could change in the future as well.

Another question concerns Facebook’s response to Google buying Wildfire Interactive, a deal announced yesterday. Wildfire enjoys preferred vendor status in its Insights, Apps, and Pages areas. Will Facebook continue to grant it that designation, and how will it respond if Google seeks approval as an Ads API provider, or buys a company that already has it? Time will tell.

Even with the wider acceptance of view through tracking technologies, there remain significant restrictions on Facebook impression tracking. Advertisers can still only drop tracking cookies when premium ads are served, and not for marketplace inventory. Also, impression tracking doesn’t apply to owned and earned impressions generated through brand Pages.

Facebook declined comment.

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  1. It’s about time. In order for dollars to flow, we need to be able to measure. Likes for the sake of likes just isn’t the answer that we all need to prove campaign effectiveness. Measuring and analyzing impressions at least sets us on a path to substantiate Facebook buys.

    I’m glad they have greenlit DoubleClick DART. As an agency that’s mostly off the Google platform, centralized ad serving onto MediaMind, I hope that they get granted access soon.

  2. The underlining reason facebook is doing this? Attribution credit. Most agencies / advertisers still measure performance on a last click / impression attribution model. Meaning – last cookie dropped on a browser will get the credit for any conversion that occurs according to out dated technologies like doubleclick. And since majority facebook is one of the last site we close out of at the end of the day…guess what performance will look like now on every media planners’ DART report.

  3. Jonathan

    Do third parties end up with data in the call that might give more information on the user’s data or site behavior on Facebook? For example a referring URL that has a vanity URL in it? Or is this obscured in an iframe or in some other way? Separately, my understanding is that the Facebook ad targeting parameters are still only part of the closed-loop CPC Facebook ads, so none of that data could leak to third party trackers through these display units. Can someone correct/confirm?

  4. Agree with some of the comments that this is a bid to get more of the view-through attribution credit that agencies so love. But with a majority of Facebooks ads being served in such small sizes and unimpressive page locations, I hope agencies are mindful enough to only credit a view-through when the placement is in a high visibility location(such as with the premium ad units).

    It would suck to see Facebook unfairly grab the last view attribution, especially once the retargeting capabilities are opened up, thus devaluing the actual value in driving a user to perform an action.

  5. This is great news for agencies and advertisers who use advanced attribution methods. Facebook is finally giving us the data that will allow us to directly compare the performance of Facebook ads to other types of paid media, which is precisely what is needed for advertisers to justify investing in Facebook’s ad platform.