During the company's first earnings call as a public company in
July, chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg said that it was in
"early alpha testing," and Facebook
was reportedly so serious about maintaining silence that there was
a reckoning for two of the eight companies it took its exchange
public with. According to All Things D, they
were kicked out -- at least temporarily -- for being too
No one was permanently expelled from the Facebook exchange, but
some believe their access to the platform was delayed for breaking
Facebook's rules. The net result is that companies declined to even
admit that they had access to FBX in the last nearly three months,
much less discuss how well it was working, but today the veil has
been lifted through a series of orchestrated announcements.
Previously confirmed players like Turn, Triggit and AdRoll
raised their hands, as well as lesser-known companies in the
ad-tech world such as Optimal, a Facebook Ads API Partner that 's
increasingly turned its business to social ads but also has a DSP
platform. Vague detail beyond participation was offered; for
instance, AdRoll's release stated that its beta testers had seen
"average ROI of 16x."
Facebook's ad exchange represents a huge opportunity for data
firms and retargeters that can layer their data over Facebook's ad
inventory. But what's fascinating is how -- and to whom --Facebook
has granted access to it. The first set of partners, AdRoll,
AppNexus, Dataxu, MediaMath, TellApart, Triggit, Turn and The Trade
Desk, and more recently, Criteo, Kenshoo, Nanigans, Optimal, Rocket
Fuel and X+1, are all startups. WPP's Xaxis was added, bringing an
agency trading desk into the picture.
What's notable is that there appears to be no rush to add
Google's DoubleClick Bid Manager (formerly known as Invite Media.)
A Google spokesman confirmed it still not been invited to
participate. Ad Age reported last month that
Facebook's exclusion of DoubleClick Bid Manager had put it at odds
with Publicis Groupe , whose trading desk relies heavily on
Google's technology for its targeted ad-buying. The issue was
serious enough for Publicis that it prompted CEO Maurice Levy to
personally reach out to Ms. Sandberg.
Long term, most expect Facebook and Google to work together, but
in the meantime Facebook is giving a host of startups a head start
using the system, and Google's DSP clients that want to buy
Facebook inventory have to look elsewhere.