Today in Social

Facebook will enable advertisers to re-target users with its otherwise boring right-rail ad units. They won’t be able to add additional Facebook-data-driven targeting, and this doesn’t have anything to do with Facebook’s Sponsored Stories ad units, which actually are “social” marketing. Advertisers will buy these ads via real-time bidding through eight Demand Side Platforms (DSPs). This is a smart move by Facebook, but it’s not particularly innovative. Re-targeting is an effective advertising technique for CPC direct-marketing ads – advertisers can remind a target who has expressed interest via a site visit or search that didn’t convert to an action or click through. Re-targeting inventory is valuable, but difficult to buy at scale. Facebook potentially has lots of scale and this could help it raise its prices a bit. Some are calling this an “exchange,” but that’s misleading – while it connects Facebook inventory with ad networks via the DSPs, it’s not a “network of networks.”

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David Card

VP Research Gigaom Research

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