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Facebook Will Close FBX And Double Efforts For Mobile Ads

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Facebook confirmed on Wednesday that they are going to shut down desktop advertising platform in order to double smartphone ads. FBX (Facebook Exchange) will not be available to advertisers from November onwards.

What is Facebook Exchange (FBX)?

With Facebook Exchange, you can reach visitors who have shown an interest via their online behavior so you can reach them with a similar kind of service or product. For instance, if you are promoting an airline sale to Delhi, your ad will be more effective if you show it to someone who has been visiting various websites over past few days and has searched for ‘cheap airline fare to Delhi’.Source:

Facebook Exchange or FBX was launched in 2012 with 16 partners. There was a time when having a seat on the Facebook Exchange once carried extensive value and cache when it was the sole way to gain access to retargeting on Facebook. However, with the changes in time, the ad tech partners who made FBX significant to their businesses had to shift themselves away from the desktop inventory of FBX.

This is evident from the number of partners that Facebook cut in Feb 2015. The current partners include AppNexus, MediaMath, AdRoll, Criteo, and Turn.

“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” Eric Eichmann, CEO, Criteo

He added that more than 5,000 customers of Criteo are already leveraging Dynamic Ads.

Shift To Mobile From Desktop

Few years back, Facebook investors didn’t really believe in social network’s ability to win on mobile. But the current scenario shows that it is the only thing that is dominating the market and will continue to.

Facebook has shifted from a desktop-centric business to a high-class force in mobile, taking over popular apps like Instagram and WhatsApp along the way. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Facebook, was clear in his mind that mobile is going to be the future. This is clear from the fact that mobile represented 82 percent of total ad revenue in the first quarter as compared to 73 percent in 2015.

As per Facebook’s reports, there are 1.65 billion monthly users. Out of which nearly 92 percent are active via mobile. For this purpose, Facebook is aiming to focus on products like custom audiences and dynamic ads that allow marketers to target customers using mobile devices. This is because more and more users are tethering to their devices.

The types of ads currently available via FBX are display and other formats that are bound to desktop computers. Facebook Exchange lacks video and mobile ads.

Matt Idema, a Facebook vice president expressed his views on the transition to a mobile-centric world.

“Dynamic ads and custom audiences have mobile at their core and are delivering excellent results for businesses. This is about giving people more relevant ads and marketers more effective formats, especially in an increasingly mobile world.”

Retargeting and promotion of content to visitors based on their known likes is increasing on smartphones. According to an Industry Report by AdRoll, an ad-tech startup, the percentage of marketers retargeting on mobile crossed 82 percent from 54 percent. Out of the total number of marketers surveyed by AdRoll, 87 percent plan to invest more on retargeting audiences on mobile in 2016.

“Facebook has become a mobile company over the past two to three years. That was one of the key signals there wasn’t a future for FBX, and today Facebook is a huge player in mobile marketing.” Adam Berke, president,  AdRoll

He explained the removal of FBX and increased focus on the mobile audience will ‘eliminate ambiguity’, thereby making it simpler for marketers to reach their customers.

Facebook’s Recent Plans

Facebook has been amplifying its Audience Network and has recently started video ads on its platform. For instance, Facebook acquired Liverail, ad tech firm, which helped Facebook deliver video ads to multiple platforms. According to company’s fourth-quarter sales of 2015, the Audience Network suggested an annual run rate of $1 billion. Facebook had last year’s advertising revenue was more than $17 billion.

According to AdExchanger, display ad, Atlas of Facebook, at once gave major competition to Google’s leading ad serving tool. However, it is now struggling to gain a place among top ad agencies and marketers.

Antonio Garcia-Martinez, Former FBX product director said that the company was ‘desperate to boost revenue’.

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.

Using Dynamic Ads, marketers can retarget app or site visitors with multiple or specific products as per the consumer behavior over the internet. With Custom Audiences, advertisers can upload their data to target Facebook users. Both of these products can target users across devices with the availability of data to marketers via Facebook’s APIs or ad interface.


FBX will shut down on November 1, 2016. With the shutting down of Facebook Exchange, they are stressing the readily available platform of the Facebook Ads API.

Though shutting down of FBX and shifting of revenues to mobile ads will help Facebook, but is there any loophole or the road is all clean? What are your views regarding Facebook’s transitional move?

Sakshi is a content marketer during the day and a reader by night. She writes content sprinkled with a twisted imagination. She has done her graduation in psychology from Delhi University and has an insane love for history.

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