Every movement begins with a moment.
Facebook announced in May that it would shutter its desktop-based retargeting ad exchange, Facebook Exchange (FBX), this coming November. Since its launch in 2012, advertisers have leveraged FBX to expand reach of their exchange-based remarketing and behavioral audience buys across the vast network base of over 1 billion globally. The benefits of FBX were simple — large scale to the 125M average daily users that provided ample tracking for direct response- based initiatives.
To many, the elimination of FBX was of little surprise as Facebook continues to place emphasis on native mobile product developments. Overall, mobile ad spending is on the rise. It surpassed desktop in 2015 and is projected to double it by 2017 (eMarketer 2015). Facebook is on the forefront of mobile, ranking number one in mobile ad revenue among mobile display companies in 2015. As the platform — and consumers themselves — continues to shift toward mobile, both its investment and gains in the arena will only continue to increase.
What’s next for Facebook?
Moving forward, Facebook’s primary focus will be on mobile, which currently accounts for 82% of the company’s overall revenue. By 2017, Facebook’s U.S. mobile ad revenues will increase by more than 50% over 2016, totaling about $7.53 billion, making mobile a key to continued growth (eMarketer 2015). As consumption shifts toward mobile, it is only natural for Facebook to adjust its product offering to align with market demands. Facebook will continue to focus on development of more native products that increase user interaction, such as video and short-term page posts that have been teased out but not yet released.
Additionally, the closing of FBX means that there will be a wall around all Facebook inventory, controlled 100% by the tech company itself. This wall will give Facebook leverage to focus on Audience Network, which enables direct deals between marketers. As Facebook transitions toward a more centralized and self-sufficient model, it will engender increased control over its own platform, free from outside influence.
What’s next for marketers?
As Facebook continues to evolve and adjust its product offering to align with market demand and long-term business goals, marketers must evolve as well. Although Facebook will remain business as usual until November when FBX is dissolved, in the long term, marketers will have to adjust their media buying in two ways — taking on a mobile-first mentality and continuing to be nimble as the product evolves. With more media dollars shifting toward mobile, creative will have to be specifically tailored to consumption on those devices if they want to drive true success of their marketing efforts. Lastly, post-November, marketers will have to make all transactions directly through Facebook or a Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer (PMD), ultimately giving Facebook complete ownership of its entire ecosystem.
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