Facebook Unveils New Ad Exchange Program
This week Facebook announced yet another new feature to their advertising platform, Facebook Exchange. Facebook Exchange features real-time bidding for buying ads on the social network. The exchange happens through buying and selling browser-enabled cookies for standard display ads and not Facebook’s premium ads, sponsored stories or mobile advertising.
The Facebook Exchange is a process that allows advertisers bid in real time on a specific set of ad impressions, allowing advertising the ability to deliver more relevant ads as quickly as possible. For example, a travel website may be interested in reaching a person who searched for a flight but did not complete the transaction. With Facebook Exchange, the travel website can show that person a related ad on Facebook.
This is similar to how Google’s Adwords program operates, but allowing marketers to reach new customers by choosing when and where an ad appears on a display advertising network website. Google tracks users as they browse the internet, collecting data on its own cookies as they go.
Facebook claims to not share any user data with advertisers and Facebook users still have the same control over the ads they seen on Facebook as they do today. Facebook is allowing users to close the ads and also opt out of the cookie tracking, if desired.
This is an interesting step in Facebook’s recent ongoing attempt to drive up their stock prices to keep investors happy while addressing the continued privacy concerns over user’s information. Facebook earned $3.15 last year in ad revenue and expects mobile ads and other services to boost sales.