Facebook is rapidly expanding the ad exchange it launched in June. Today, ad targeting firms Criteo and Rocket Fuel officially join the list. Each now can target Facebook Marketplace ads based on their own data sets.
Through Facebook's growing exchange, the massive social site essentially becomes like any other publisher providing real-time bidding inventory to advertisers buying through its exchange partners. Advertisers can target people through the partners, and if Facebook finds a cookie match, an ad is served.
The value lies in Facebook's audience and near-worldwide presence.
"The quality of the traffic, the reach and the scale are really a big deal," said Eshwar Belani, VP of products and business development at Rocket Fuel. "It's hard to find social inventory that can provide you the reach and scale that Facebook has, so I think that's a very compelling proposition," he continued, noting that it is difficult to accumulate the level of scale and quality inventory afforded by Facebook through multiple inventory sources.
Rocket Fuel is attracting interest from travel, entertainment, autos, financial services and retail clients, Belani said.
Facebook keeps its own profile data on its users off limits to Facebook Exchange partners. When accessing the Facebook Exchange – otherwise known as FBX – partners can only use their own data to target Facebook users on Facebook.
AdExchanger's Zach Rodgers reported the Criteo and Rocket Fuel additions to the exchange about a month ago.
Some FBX partners including Rocket Fuel have already been able to run ads on Facebook using only Facebook’s own data through the social site's API. The API offering and FBX, however, are totally separate in terms of data access.
"Facebook has a very iron clad and tight-fisted partition between" its own user profile data and the data its FBX partners use to target ads on Facebook, said Belani.
Some Facebook data is available to FBX advertisers, though. Facebook does allow exchange advertisers the ability to track some interactions with FBX ads, Belani said.
"What FBX enables us to do now is tracking of which users have seen how many ads...things like frequency capping can now be managed within Facebook," he said. "We can track all kinds of interactions they have [with Marketplace ads]."
Criteo is also added to FBX today. The global firm focuses on performance advertisers looking to generate leads.
Yet, the Facebook Exchange could work for brand advertisers, too, Belani said. "We do believe there's an opportunity to also drive brand related objectives with FBX," he suggested.
The fact that FBX partners can track whether a user was exposed to an ad makes it compelling to brands, added Belani.
Facebook also recently added two political ad partners to its FBX roster. Intermarkets and CampaignGrid, both of which target ads based on publicly-available national voter file data, are part of the real-time exchange.
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Kate Kaye was Managing Editor at ClickZ News until October 2012. As a daily reporter and editor for the original news source, she covered beats including digital political campaigns and government regulation of the online ad industry. Kate is the author of Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media, the only book focused on the paid digital media efforts of the 2008 presidential campaigns. Kate created ClickZ's Politics & Advocacy section, and is the primary contributor to the one-of-a-kind section. She began reporting on the interactive ad industry in 1999 and has spoken at several events and in interviews for television, radio, print, and digital media outlets. You can follow Kate on Twitter at @LowbrowKate.
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