In the coming weeks, Facebook plans to allow advertisers to begin purchasing its Marketplace ads on a real-time bidding basis. The idea is to increase the value of this inventory by allowing advertisers to use their own data for targeting.
Though there’s been much speculation about Facebook starting an ad network like the Google Content Network, this is not that — it will only involve Facebook inventory.
Ads will be sold on a CPM basis via third-party demand-side platforms (DSPs) and will be targeted via browser cookies — which will enable retargeting and other behavioral options. Bloomberg reports that the partners for selling ads will include TellApart, Turn, Triggit, DataXu, MediaMath, AppNexus, The Trade Desk and AdRoll.com.
Ad slots on the exchanges will only include Marketplace ads, the standard right-side-of-the page ads that feature a headline, text and a small image. They can link to a Facebook Page or an Event, or to an outside URL. Neither sponsored stories nor premium ads will be included in the exchange.
Advertisers have been clamoring for ways to apply data — and collect data — from Facebook advertising, so this would seem to be a first step in that direction. Previously, ads could only be targeted by interests and demographics.