Facebook Exchange: what it is and who to work with to get started


The Facebook Exchange allows approved third-party platforms to place retargeting ads on Facebook after users visit external websites marked with cookies.

When a user visits a site that has hired one of Facebook’s partner platforms (DSPs), a cookie will be placed on that user’s browser when the person reaches a stage that implies purchase intent. If a user does not complete a transaction, the DSP will be able to bid on retargeting ads that appear in the right-hand column of Facebook when the user returns to the social network. See examples below, which happen to be retargeted ads about ad retargeting.

Retargeting data cannot yet be combined with Facebook’s demographic and psychographic targeting options — nor can it be used for social ads like Sponsored Stories or page post ads in News Feed — but FBX shows promise as the start of remarketing and intent-based advertising on the social network. Early partners are reporting lower costs per acquisition than on other exchanges and all have expressed continued interest in FBX.

FBX came out of beta in September, but for now, advertisers have to work with a third party to run these type of ads. They are not available from Facebook’s self-serve or Power Editor tools. However, there are more than a dozen companies that offer software or managed services for FBX campaigns. We’ve provided a rundown of 16 of them after the jump. AppNexus and Brandscreen are other providers, but they did not reply to our requests for information.


Self-serve software or managed services? Both

Minimum spend or cost to get started? $10,000

Estimated time to get started (from sale/signup to training to implementation, etc)? 1-2 business days.

Distinguishing features? (1) AdParlor is 1 of 12 companies distinguished as a strategic PMD with preferred access to alpha and beta products and enhanced support from Facebook. (2) Account management teams work closely with partners to define custom actions and proactively consult on best practices.(3) Strength is in performance advertising, reaching the right audience at the right time and often creating thousands of ad variations and optimizing bids every minute to ensure every campaign meets and exceeds established goals. (4) With both the Ads and Insights badges, AdParlor offers real-time reporting on page and ad performance in one integrated dashboard, providing enhanced data and analytics for every initiative.

Services Besides FBX? Full or self-service solution (Pulse) for all Facebook ad types, including custom audience targeting, mobile app install ads, premium and page post ads, sponsored results, open graph sponsored story ads, and other unique ad formats via Facebook.

Employees: 50+

Office locations: New York, Toronto, San Francisco, London, Shanghai, Paris, Chicago.


Self-serve software or managed services? Both.

Minimum spend or cost to get started? No minimum spend after full roll out.

Estimated time to get started? Once the advertiser places a single SmartPixel and provides creative assets, AdRoll gets FBX campaigns up and running in less than a day.

Distinguishing features? (1) LiquidAds, AdRoll’s dynamic ad product on Facebook Exchange, has delivered a 102 percent average CTR increase over static FBX ads for customers. LiquidAds on FBX enables advertisers to retarget web visitors with ads featuring exact products they were recently browsing. (2) Proprietary site crawler (“RollCrawl”) automatically pulls product images, descriptions and prices from an advertiser’s site. (3) Granular segment targeting, including the ability to segment based on time cohorts, incrementality testing and more. (4) High return on campaigns by combining FBX with multiple other inventory sources.

Services Besides FBX? Multi-platform retargeting across 60+ ad exchanges and networks. AdRoll is the largest retargeting platform with over 5,000 active advertisers in the U.S. and around the world.

Employees: 110

Office locations: San Francisco, but expanding domestically and internationally soon.


Self-serve software or managed services? Managed services.

Minimum spend or cost to get started? Bidded cost-per-click model with clicks beginning at 15 cents.

Estimated time to get started? 4-6 weeks.

Distinguishing features? (1) Full service solution where cost is entirely within the cost-per-click that you bid. (2) Criteo handles product feed integration with an advertiser’s IT team (3) Criteo creative design team will design ads. (4) Account management team will work with advertisers to manage and optimize campaigns. (5) Cost-per-click model. (6) Product recommendation engine shows products people have not previously browsed. (7) Operate in 32 countries across the world.

Services besides FBX? Works with more than 3,000 advertisers globally to deliver relevant, personalized messaging to people browsing on more than 5,000 publisher partner sites across the world.

Number of employees? 700

Office locations: 15 countries including New York, Paris, London, Munich, Sao Paolo, Tokyo, Seoul and Sydney.


Self-serve software or managed services? Both.

Minimum spend or cost to get started? $20,000-$25,000

Estimated time to get started? Could be as quick as 48 hours for managed services.

Distinguishing features? (1) DataXu’s Active Analytics™ – patented, automated, data-driven decisioning engine, which senses and reacts in real time to changing consumer behavior across all digital, social, and traditional touch points. It examines the unique combination of message, user attributes, context, and response, to continuously learn and determine what works best and improve ROI automatically.

Services besides FBX? All digital channels, including display, mobile, video, IPTV, email and social.

Number of employees: 220

Office locations: Boston, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, London, Milan, Madrid, Paris, Sao Paulo, Cologne, Germany.


Self-serve software or managed services? Managed Services

Minimum spend or cost to get started? $25k/month CPM minimum buy

Estimated time to get started? Timing is heavily dependent on the time it takes the client to implement the pixel/code on their site as well as provide creative. Once pixel is implemented and creative is provided, display campaigns can run within one or two days.

Distinguishing features? (1) IgnitionOne’s proprietary Engagement Score™ to intelligently adjust bids to target users most likely to convert. (2) Engagement Score data can also be used to show the most relevant ads based on user activity.

Services Besides FBX? Integrated Digital Marketing SuiteSM (DMS) to centralize, manage and optimize digital media across search, display, social and mobile. Managed services to help marketers get the most out of their campaigns.

Number of employees: 275+

Office locations: New York, Atlanta, San Francisco, Detroit, Sao Paulo, London, Brussels, Munich, Paris, Madrid, Warsaw, The Netherlands, Tokyo, Singapore, Bangalore.



Self-serve software or managed services? Managed services.

Minimum spend or cost to get started? $10,000 a month total social media spend.

Estimated time to get started? TBD based on integration specifications but can be as quickly as 48 hours.

Distinguishing features? (1) Intuitive graphical ads manager to easily bulk manage ads and targets. (2) Unique time saving tools to quickly create permutations, auto-segment and name/save templates. (3) Custom Facebook bidding algorithms. (4) Comprehensive attribution across media channels (search and social) and across owned, paid, and earned social media initiatives.

Services besides FBX? All Facebook Marketplace Ads as well as measurement, reporting and attribution for all paid, owned and earned media across Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. Kenshoo also offers SEM campaign management through Kenshoo Enterprise and Kenshoo Local for Google, Yahoo, Bing, Baidu, etc.

Number of employees: 300+

Office locations: 16 international locations with hub offices in: Chicago, Hamburg, Hong Kong, London, New York, Paris, Tel Aviv, San Francisco and Sydney.


Self-serve software or managed services?  Both.

Minimum spend or cost to get started? $25,000.

Estimated time to get started? 1-2 business days.

Distinguishing features? (1) Manage ad campaigns on Facebook and other exchanges from a single platform. (2) TerminalOne platform gives marketers an easy workflow that seamlessly integrated all the components of a Facebook campaign: audience selection, targeting, creative generation and upload, campaign setup and management and back-end reporting. (3) Largest scale of any demand side-platform (DSP), so MediaMath is able to absorb the massive scale necessary for delivering effective campaigns on the FBX.

Services besides FBX? TerminalOne buying platform to tap into real-time advertising opportunities across display, video, mobile and social channels, including the Google AdExchange, Yahoo! Right Media and Microsoft Ad Exchange, among others. In addition to the technology, MediaMath offers training to help media buyers understand the benefits and advantages of real-time ad buying and data practices.

Number of employees? 176

Office locations: New York, Boston, Chicago, London, San Francisco and three others.


Self-serve software or managed services? Both.

Minimum spend or cost to get started? $30,000 monthly Facebook ad spend minimum (not limited to FBX buys).

Estimated time to get started? Depends on (1) if the advertiser is a current or new Nanigans customer and (2) the advertiser’s technical release cycle.

Distinguishing features? (1) Combine Ads API buys with FBX. (2) Control frequency of users reached across both as well as the appropriate amount to bid on each. (3) Expertise in best practices and tools unique to Facebook in areas such as creative, bidding, optimization and the lifetime value of customers acquired.

Services besides FBX? All Facebook Ads API buys (Sponsored Stories, page post ads, search sponsored results, mobile ads, etc.), lifetime value assessment and identification of target audiences that drive the greatest return on Facebook desktop and mobile ad spend.

Number of employees: 70

Office locations: Boston, New York and San Francisco.


Self-serve software or managed services? Both.

Minimum spend or cost to get started? $10,000 spend a month across all ad types.

Estimated time to get started? After Facebook whitelists an advertiser’s account (up to 24 hours), FBX campaigns can be up and running in 5 minutes.

Distinguishing features? (1) One-price, one-contract, one-platform self-service access to create both FBX retargeting ad campaigns as well as other types of Facebook ads. (2) Full transparency over targeting, creative and results. (3) Creative library with advertisers’ images or  images pulled in via Getty Images API integration. (4) Dynamic retargeting available even through self-serve tool.

Services besides FBX? Facebook Ads API, including Sponsored Stories, page post ads, Sponsored Results, News Feed and mobile ads, Custom Audiences and more. Audience analytics and social intelligence through Keyword Expander, Keyword Explorer, Optimal Index and Audience Matrix.

Number of employees: 30+

Office locations: San Francisco, New York and Palo Alto.

Perfect Audience

Self-serve software or managed services?  Fully self-service.

Minimum spend or cost to get started? Free for two weeks, then $25/week minimum budget.

Estimated time to get started? 7 minutes.

Distinguishing features? (1) Fastest, easiest, most affordable Facebook retargeting platform. (2) Designed for brands and agencies that run their tools themselves. (3) Two-week free trial with no fees or setup costs. (4) Seven-minute setup. (5) Visual dashboard with stats updated hourly. (6) Multi-site support. (7) Detailed attribution reporting. (8) Single tracking tag for all conversions and segments. (9) Javascript API for creating lists and tracking conversions. (10) 24-hour email support.

Services besides FBX? Self-service, low cost web retargeting across DoubleClick, Microsoft, Open X, Rubicon Project, and 100k+ sites across the web.

Number of employees: 5

Office locations: Mountain View and Chicago.


Self-serve software or managed services? Managed services.

Minimum spend or cost to get started? $10,000.

Estimated time to get started? 24-48 hours.

Distinguishing features? (1) Each month, RadiumOne engages directly with 700 million unique consumers and generates over 10 billion sharing events. (2) Within milliseconds, RadiumOne can filter this data through its ShareGraph intelligence layer, build real-time audiences for brands, and target ads across the more than 25 billion real-time impressions it sees each day. (3) Spanning the Web and Mobile, RadiumOne offers advertisers the ability  to reach the right consumer at the right time, no matter where they might be.

Services Besides FBX? Works with several other real-time-bidding platforms.

Employees: 150

Office locations: Headquartered in San Francisco, offices in London, Paris and across the U.S.

Rocket Fuel

Self-serve software or managed services? Managed services.

Minimum spend or cost to get started? $20,000 per campaign.

Estimated time to get started? Three days to start campaign after IO is received.

Distinguishing features: (1) Blended analytics framework – suite of data mining models & targeting algorithms, real-time dynamic segmentation and propensity scoring, constrained & stochastic optimization. (2) High performance direct response – multivariate creative, blended analytics, & automated progressive optimization. (3) Real-time brand optimization – optimize campaigns for lift in attitudinal intent or audience composition. (4) Institutionalized Knowledge – Insights Vault to turn campaigns into continuous insight generators and capture past results for future campaigns. (5) Extensive data – over 25 data partners with access to tens of thousands of user segments spanning across in-market intent, past purchases, search intent, psychographics, demographics, offline purchases, lifestyles, lookalikes, interests, social data, custom database matching, bizographics, technographics, granular geo-attributes from country to zip code, weather, etc.

Services besides FBX? Ad optimization for display, mobile, video and social campaigns.

Number of employees: 251

Office locations: Redwood City (headquarters), New York, Atlanta, Chicago, London, Hamburg, LA, Boston, Raleigh Durham, San Francisco, Detroit, Dallas, Washington DC, Amsterdam.


Self-serve software or managed services? Software with dedicated client services managers.

Minimum spend or cost to get started? None. Revenue share is agreed upon during the sales process. Retailers only pay when a shopper clicks a TellApart served ad and buys.

Estimated time to get started? Time to get started is very rapid as usually much of the required information is gathered during the sales process.

Distinguishing features? (1) Understanding of shoppers. TellApart collects and analyzes nearly 300 relevant signals for each shopper to create a Customer Quality Score (CQScores) for each user. Customer Quality Scores identify each shopper’s propensity to purchase, predict what they want to buy and then enable retailers to deliver targeted marketing based on this insight in real-time. (2) Dynamic personalized ads. (3) Promotion of new product discovery by including recommended products that have not previously been viewed in ads. (4) Unique no risk business model with clients only paying when a user clicks and buys. (5) Retargeting on all of the leading ad exchanges as well as complimentary products such as Dynamic Offers and Audience Targeting. (6) Complete transparency into the performance of marketing initiatives. (7) Dedicated client services manager who helps to make sure that programs run as effectively as possible on an ongoing basis.

Services besides FBX? Transactional Retargeting, Dynamic Offers and Audience Targeting for Google’s DoubleClick and Admeld, Yahoo!’s Right Media, AppNexus and PubMatic.

Number of employees: 30

Office locations: Burlingame, Calif.


Self-serve software, managed services or both? Both, but self-serve platform is most popular.

Minimum spend or cost to get started? None.

Estimated time to get started? As quickly as one day for a client that is ready to go.

Distinguishing features? (1) Total platform for media buyers (2) Ad server, RTB bidding tools, data management platform and attribution (3) “The best RTB training in the space.”

Services besides FBX? Demand side platform (DSP) accessing display, video and mobile.

Number of employees: 45

Office locations: New York City; Ventura, Calif.; Boulder; Colorado; Germany; London.


Self-serve software, managed services or both? Both

Minimum spend or cost to get started? $10,000 minimum spend for advertisers that typically see about 500,000 unique visitors a month on their site.

Estimated time to get started? About one business week.

Distinguishing features? (1) Server side cookie technology, which stores data on which user saw which ad when, on the server and not in the browser. (2) Facebook-specific algorithm to offer standard retargeting features like frequency capping, impression attribution tracking and dynamic creatives. (3) Free A/B control testing to determine true incremental viewthrough ROI on FBX. (4) Flexible pricing plans: month-to-month agreements and a 24 hour out-clause that you can exercise at any time. (5) Dynamic creative for an entire product catalog. (6) Global reach: currently serving businesses across four continents specifically for FBX.

Services besides FBX? Real-time bidding on nine other major exchanges including Google, Pubmatic, Admeld, and Rubicon across several platforms (i.e. mobile and video).

Number of employees? 30

Office locations: San Francisco and Palo Alto (Also opening a NYC office in Q4).


Minimum spend or cost to get started? None.

Estimated time to get started? Based on the Facebook creative approval process, Turn advises advertisers to plan on a 48-hour window for approval. Once creative is approved by Facebook, customers are able to push their campaign live through the Turn Campaign Suite immediately.

Distinguishing features? (1) 99-percent callout rate for ad exchanges. (2) Campaign Suite, which evaluates tens of thousands of Facebook impressions every second and responds with requests for those impressions. (3) Powerful learning algorithms combine with massive quantities of data, allowing advertisers to adjust targeting tactics, manage experiments and optimize bids for the highest-possible ROI in every channel. (4) Detailed reports on views, clicks, and conversions.

Services besides FBX? Campaign management of Marketplace Ads (Standard, Event Ad, Like Ad, Application/Page) and Sponsored Stories (Like Ads, Check-in, Page Post, Application Actions). Custom reporting for all demographic, psychographic and behavioral data, including the ability to create data visualizations using Turn Audience Suite. Cloud applications and Internet-scale architecture work together to provide a complete picture of customers, execute cross-channel campaigns, and connect with a worldwide ecosystem of more than 100 partners.

Number of employees? 200

Office locations: North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.


Self-serve software or managed services? Managed service.

Minimum spend or cost to get started? Evaluated on a case by case basis.

Estimated time to get started? Typically 24 hours.

Distinguishing features? (1) Globally unified product. (2) Proprietary market-leading data management platform (DMP) and buying engine. (3) Control that allows advertisers to leverage audience buying in any type of media environment (exchange, site-direct, premium, etc.) through the use of proprietary and clients’ customer data. (4) Standards approach to audience planning (The Affinity Tiers), allowing Xaxis to plan and measure activity with powerful granularity.

Services besides FBX? Xaxis is world’s largest audience buying company, leveraging data and technology to offer advertisers a single, comprehensive resource from which to reach and engage with global audiences across the universe of digital media – display, video, mobile, social and radio.

Number of employees? 170

Office locations: Offices in 18 countries across North America, Europe and Asia.


Self-serve software or managed services? Self-service, managed service or blended co-managed service.

Minimum spend or cost to get started? About $25,000 per month.

Estimated time to get started? Live about one week from sign-up, though campaigns typically take two to four weeks to get to ‘steady state’ which includes ramping up spend, building remarketing pools, and feeding data to optimization models. Client implementations may extend longer if they include more complex requirements around data, creative, or partner integration.

Distinguishing features? (1) Enterprise Data Management Platform with multi-channel execution capabilities powered by a patented real-time decision engine, Web Services APIs and advanced analytics. The DMP allows advertisers to use the same platform, data and audience definitions to buy media and optimize in-bound landing page and web site decisions. (2) Predictive Optimization Engine (POETM) is the optimization brain behind [x+1]’s Digital Marketing Hub. The patented decision engine, POETM learns how messages affect customer behavior at key points in the purchase process and leverages that knowledge to drive conversion. POE media allows for optimized targeting at scale, a performance layer that sits between large-scale but lower performing ‘run of network’, and small- scale and higher performing remarketing.

Services besides FBX? Digital Marketing Hub provides a data management platform (DMP) and the Origin Site personalization tool. The Origin Analytics toolset provides advertisers with audience and media insights for their campaigns.

Number of employees? 115

Office locations: New York; South Norwalk, Conn.; Chicago.


Publish date: October 25, 2012 https://stage.adweek.com/digital/facebook-exchange-what-it-is-and-who-to-work-with-to-get-started/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT