Facebook has signed deals with a number of demand side platforms to enable real-time bidding on its ad inventory, AdExchanger has learned.
In an offering called Facebook Exchange, the company plans to let advertisers deliver impression-level targeting to Facebook users who they have previously cookied elsewhere on the web. It's the first time audience buying has been possible on the platform.
The DSP deals, confirmed to us by Facebook, come with limitations that make it quite different from a typical website DSP practice. For one, ad formats will be limited to Facebook's native ad types, in particular Marketplace ads, and mobile inventory will not be accessible – at least not initially.
And DSPs and clients will only be able to use information they have in-house or through data partners. None of Facebook's contextual or affinity-based targeting options are available. For instance, a travel website can retarget a user who abandoned a travel search for Hawaii through a DSP partner but can't target people on Facebook who like "Hawaii."
In many cases, campaign creative may be delayed as it wil be subject to Facebook's normal review process, which is a combination of human and automated review.
Speaking with AdExchange, Facebook said it believes bidding on a specific impression rather than a larger group is a great way for Facebook advertisers to show more relevant ads while maximizing efficiency and effectiveness.
"We think more relevant ads are better for people, and this is just another step in that direction," said spokesperson Annie Ta.
Facebook has not yet confirmed which DSP partners will have access to its ads, but Update: The list of DSP partners includes Triggit, TellApart, Turn, DataXu, MediaMath, AppNexus, TheTradeDesk and AdRoll. Facebook says it has purposely limited the number, in part to safeguard user privacy. One notable exclusion from the list is Google's Invite Media, now known as DoubleClick Bid Manager. If Google has indeed been locked out of Facebook Exchange, it would be one of the few times it has been put back on its heels in the programmatic media environment.
Google's exclusion would be in keeping with Facebook's earlier decision to barr AdSense as a monetization option for app developers. AdSense and DoubleClick are still absent from the company's approved ad providers list, though many have reportedly continued to use it without a punitive response from Facebook.
MediaMath CEO Joe Zawadzki said, "For advertisers and agencies who use buying platforms like MediaMath to optimize their marketing, with the Facebook Exchange now they can expand their reach to harness the quality and scale of Facebook, while continuing to target using their audience data they have collected, to build a relevant, efficient and complete marketing programs across channels"
The move opens up Facebook inventory not only to retargeting campaigns, but to any RTB type campaign – including sequential messaging efforts designed to reach individuals who have already been served an ad elsewhere.
- Zach Rodgers
More on Facebook's Exchange