Optimal, Nanigans and 3 more new partners join Facebook ad exchange program


By Brittany Darwell Comment

Facebook has added five more real-time bidding partners to its exchange program, according to AdExchanger.

Optimal, Nanigans, RocketFuel, Criteo and X+1 are now among 14 companies approved to run retargeting ads on Facebook after users visit external websites marked with cookies. The exchange, also known as FBX, has generated a lot of interest from advertisers since it was announced in June, but little information has come out publicly about the beta.

During Facebook’s second quarter earnings call, COO Sheryl Sandberg said FBX was still in a “very early outlook stage,” though the company was encouraged by the response so far. In fact, Facebook Exchange was a common point of conversation among many advertisers at the SES Conference in San Francisco this week. We spoke with a number of people involved with real-time bidding who hoped to become part of the program.

Although retargeting data cannot yet be combined with Facebook’s demographic and psychographic targeting options, FBX shows promise as the start of remarketing and intent-based advertising on the social network. It’s also likely that Facebook would one day allow advertisers to layer user profile data on top of cookie-based data for even more powerful remarketing campaigns.

AdRoll, AppNexus, DataXu, MediaMath, Tellapart, TheTradeDesk, Triggit, Turn and Xaxis are other demand-side platforms involved in the test. AdExchanger sources say the process for vetting and approving new partners has seemed somewhat arbitrary and often based on existing relationships. Optimal and Nanigans, for example, are Preferred Marketing Developers with Ads API access. [Update 8/16/12 4:32 p.m. PT - An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Optimal was the only PMD partner in the exchange program. Nanigans is also approved to sell ads through FBX and the API.]

It’s unclear how the exchange will fit into the PMD program, but AdExchanger found a new check box in the PMD directory called “FBX Through Real-Time Bidding.”

Last week we noticed Facebook was hiring a “Technical Account Manager, Facebook Exchange, PMD Program.” The position has not yet been filled.