Facebook have entered the header bidding market and announced it intends to bring advertiser demand from the Facebook Audience Network to mobile web publishers that use header bidding, but will partner with supply-side ad tech companies who will provide supply. Since introducing Audience Network in 2014, Facebook has been working with mobile developers by bringing ads from Facebook to their apps. Last January, the social giant began testing with mobile web publishers like Washington Post, Forbes, and Daily Mail.
In a blog post the company said that current ad bidding methodologies are letting publishers down, who are “consistently losing margins to third party middlemen who make the rules and obfuscate the truth”, which is perhaps a slightly surprising choice of phrase considering Facebook’s very recent problems with the video measurement metrics they devised and used on Facebook.
Facebook will be opening up Audience Network to “qualified mobile web publishers” who work with a select group of their technology partners: Amazon Publisher Services, AppNexus, Index Exchange, Media.net, Sonobi and Sortable.
“This means we’re going to be putting our demand into other partners as the first option,” said David Jakubowski, director of publisher solutions at Facebook. “We’re not releasing a tech platform, we’re not coming out with a new methodology on header bidding.”
Web publishers who use header bidding will be able to join Audience Network through approved partners or through open-source header bidding solutions like PreBid and PubFood. Facebook claim that publishers who integrated Audience Network header bidding reported increases in revenue of 10%-30%.
Matt Wheatland, US Director of Programmatic, Daily Mail, said, “Introducing demand from Facebook’s Audience Network has made a positive impact to our monetization efforts across our websites and apps. We are now able to access the large pool of advertisers already running ads across Facebook. By using Audience Network via header bidding we achieve yields on qualified impressions that are 2X-3X higher than we receive from traditional exchange based demand”.
Ken Leeder, GM, Amazon Publisher Services, explained Amazon’s role. “Amazon Publisher Services helps publishers maximize their monetization and user experience. We do this through a server-to-server, cloud-based integration and a transparent auction in which everyone competes on equal footing. Facebook and Amazon share the core tenet of leading with transparency to serve publishers, and we welcome Facebook Audience Network’s demand to our Transparent Ad Marketplace,” he said.
Facebook also hinted at future solutions and said the company is exploring ways to make programmatic ad auctions even better, noting that “server-to-server integrations, where the bidding happens outside of a browser, has been shown to improve latency and create a better user experience”.