Facebook Exchange Shutting Down

Farewell, Facebook Exchange: The social network’s real-time ad-bidding platform is being phased out in favor of Facebook Audience Network and other products.

Farewell, Facebook Exchange: The social network’s real-time ad-bidding platform is being phased out in favor of Facebook Audience Network and other products.

Facebook Exchange, or FBX, launched in September 2012, but the social network has been steering clients and ad technology partners to other products, including Facebook Audience Network, and vice president of monetization product marketing Matthew Idema told Marty Swant of SocialTimes parent Adweek that the goal is to wrap up those migrations by Nov. 1.

The Wall Street Journal said the company began alerting partners about the move earlier this week.

Idema said in a statement emailed to SocialTimes:

Mobile is now a necessary component of effective marketing campaigns, and Facebook is helping millions of businesses understand their customers’ purchase path across devices. Dynamic ads and custom audiences have mobile at their core and are delivering excellent results for businesses, so Facebook Exchange spending has shifted toward those solutions.

This is about giving people more relevant ads and marketers more effective formats, especially in an increasingly mobile world. Our ads application-programming interface is open to all developers so they can innovate on our platform and build great ad experiences for brands and their customers.

He made similar comments to Swant:

This migration really won’t be a challenge for them. They’re already using the mobile products like dynamic ads.

As people have moved to mobile and spend more of their time using Facebook and Instagram and the Audience Network on mobile versus on desktop, that’s really been the arc of the potential impact of desktop retargeting in general. As mobile has become a larger part of our business, desktop has become a smaller and smaller part of our business.

Former FBX product director Antonio Garcia-Martinez told the Journal that when FBX was created, the company was “desperate to boost revenue,” adding:

People interpreted this as a massive move into programmatic, but (Facebook) hated any idea of outside bidders having access and control (of Facebook ads). Facebook always wants to have everything owned and operated.

Companies including Criteo, AdRollDataXu, MediaMath and AppNexus were FBX partners, and Criteo CEO Eric Eichmann said in a statement emailed to SocialTimes:

FBX has been a very successful platform for us, and over the past year, as we have seen consumers increasingly move to purchase and browse on mobile devices, Dynamic ads have increased to become a more significant part of our mix. This evolution aligns well with Criteo’s focus to serve ads on all devices using our universal match technology. 5,000 Criteo clients are already using dynamic ads and seeing a 10 percent to 15 percent increase in sales by activating it.

We continue to be excited by Facebook’s advertising innovation, including the new dynamic ads for travel and dynamic ads on Instagram, which help brands maximize their ability to drive incremental sales.

AdRoll president and chief marketing officer Adam Berke said in an email to SocialTimes:

First off, the writing has been on the wall for FBX for a long time. There’s been limited investment in FBX for well over one year, and all of Facebook’s innovation efforts have been put toward its native products. We had already moved all but a few customers over to custom audiences, so there’s no real short-term impact for us.

Longer-term, this cements the fact that there will be multiple standards for media buying. There will be an open standard, and there will be one or many proprietary closed standards. Obviously, if we consolidated on a single standard, life would be a lot easier for the average marketer. Their campaigns could flow seamlessly between inventory and platforms. However, that’s not the way things are unfolding, so marketers will need tools and solutions that span the various standards and platforms and help them execute their campaigns in a holistic way.

Readers: Are you surprised about the impending shutdown of FBX?