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Social Media: Why Facebook’s FBX Shutdown is Good for Business | WMI

10 Oct 2016 Jenna Manula, Director Social Media Marketing

in Media,


On November 1st, 2016, Facebook’s FBX will cease to exist. Facebook launched Facebook Exchange (FBX) in 2012 as a real-time desktop retargeting tool. The platform allowed advertisers to use first-party and third-party data to bid on Facebook inventory as a means to expand upon their retargeting efforts. The technology was quickly praised by digital marketers as an efficient way for brands to buy social inventory through programmatic partnerships and was adopted as a staple marketing strategy for digitally savvy brands.  Now, four years later, the digital world is witnessing a shift toward mobile advertising. Mobile video ad spending in the U.S. jumped 80.6% in 2015 and is forecast to see double-digit growth through 2019. As a result, Facebook is closing the exchange to concentrate on improving its mobile advertising solution offered within the Facebook Audience Network (FAN). 

“Back in 2012, mobile contributed 41% to Facebook’s $1.6 billion ad business. In its latest earnings call, mobile was 82% of its $5.2 billion ad revenue.”   - AdExchanger.com 

What does the shut down of the Facebook Exchange (FBX) mean for advertisers?

FBX had a great run, but now it’s time to retire the programmatic buying of Facebook inventory in favor of buying direct. For those advertisers who relied solely on FBX for their retargeting efforts, it’s time to rethink your strategy. FBX was a stepping-stone into social advertising, but now you need to get your feet wet and make a SPLASH. By parting ways with FBX, your brand can buy inventory on both desktop and mobile devices on and off Facebook as well as on Instagram (Yes – INSTAGRAM!). Instead of being limited to one ad type, advertisers can now choose between 13 different ad formats, including Dynamic Product Ads, and have the option to target by device and operating system. 

With the Facebook Audience Network, brands are given more control over where their ads are seen. Sensitive verticals can be blocked and advertisers can choose which websites and/or apps they do not want to show their ads. Facebook Data Targeting on FAN is also more sophisticated than what was previously offered on the FBX. Instead of relying solely on first-party and third-party data, brands can craft hyper-targeted campaigns utilizing data Facebook users willingly type into their Facebook profiles: Age, Gender, Language, Location, Interests, HHI, Purchase Behaviors, Relationship Status, Life Events, Education, Work History, Ethnic Affinities, and more.  Brands can still retarget their customers through Facebook’s CRM matching program, Website Custom Audiences (WCA) too. 

The only downside to the closing of FBX is the loss of view-through tracking for brands that are running Website Custom Audiences campaigns through the ad server, DoubleClick. Prior to the closure, advertisers that were using first-party data with FBX were privy to that information.

How Women's Marketing Optimizes Social Media Campaigns

The increased exposure to new Facebook tools can be daunting. That’s why we recommend partnering with a social agency to secure your Facebook buys. At Women’s Marketing, we have been helping emerging brands optimize their Facebook and Instagram campaigns using both Website Custom Audiences (since 2012) and the Facebook Audience Network (since 2014). We utilize First Party Data to create Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences to better serve your ads, as well as employing Dynamic Product Ads to showcase products to interested consumers. We have a proven track record of excellence and pride ourselves on driving both brand awareness as well as sales through cost-effective, social media advertising. Contact us today to discover how we can build your brand.

Sources: eMarketer Marketers Expected to Shift More Dollars Toward Desktop, Mobile Video Ads, May 2016; AdExchanger RIP FBX: Facebook Will Shut Down Its Desktop Retargeter In November, May 2016; Performics Facebook Shuts Down Its Ad Exchange: Implications for Advertisers, July 2016