Facebook Introduces Marketplace Ads & Bidding for In-App Ads



The push continues to identify ad inventory outside of the News Feed.


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Facebook is doubling down on its monetization efforts with two important initiatives: bidding for in-app advertising and the rollout of Marketplace ads.

For some brief background regarding the first announcement, header bidding is a technology through which publishers can auction off ad impressions via real-time auctions between ad networks.

The social media giant first opened up header bidding via Facebook Audience Network last March with six inaugural partners: AppNexus, Amazon Publisher Services, Index Exchange,, Sonobi, and Sortable. The concept has since become an industry-wide trend whereby publishers have reported “significant increases” in cost per thousand of impressions (CPMs) of as much as 30 to 40 percent year-to-date.

Fast forwarding to today, the social media giant is announcing the availability of audience Network to bid into auctions for in-app advertising following several months of testing with publishers including Rovio, Talefn, and Game Insight, who have seen upticks in revenue figures by as much as 20 percent.

“Publishers who manage their app monetization technology in-house as well as those managed by a select group of partners—MoPub, Fyber, and MAX—can now include Facebook ads through Audience Network in their auctions,” stated Vijay Balan, Head of Publisher Solutions Partnerships in an official blog post.

Balan also explained that under the current system ad networks are called one-at-a-time until app ads are filled. The order in which a network is called is determined by “historical average CPMs,” as opposed to the amount buyers are willing to pay. “This method often overlooks a network willing to pay more for an impression because it is lower in the chain,” he explained.

The company believes this problem can effectively be addressed by implementing in-app bidding, which will allow app publishers to “establish an impartial and open auction over their ad inventory,” with placements going to the highest bidders. In this vein, the ad networks stand to benefit from a more democratized process and publishers can maximize their revenue. Finally, the consumer benefits from better, higher quality ad experiences that result when publishers have the opportunity to capitalize on the access to high-value advertisers provided during auctions. In short, the overarching aspiration is a win-win-win situation.

Another revenue stream being tapped? It’s own take on Craigslist launched in 2016: Marketplace currently boasting 800 million monthly visitors each month across 70 countries.

Per the announcement, ads from businesses will be displayed alongside other services and products. When a businesses selects Automatic Placements, they will also have to options to have their ads run across additional placement options including News Feed, Instagram, Messenger, Audience Network, and with this update, Marketplace. Those not directly in the Marketplace will see the ads as sponsored posts within their News Feed.

The Verge shared additional details such as users will be in the driver’s seat when it comes to determining how long they want their campaign to last. Additionally, there won’t be a set price for an ad–rather all ads are collected into an ad auction. The goal here being that all ads trying to target the same audiences are considered on the same playing field.

The update is still in test-mode, but the company is already reporting success stories. For example, an accessories company called Thread Wallets generated over 300 purchases and increased its year-over-year ad spend by 41 percent upon adding Marketplace as a placement for conversion campaigns. Further, women’s lifestyle box company FabFitFun reported a noticeable subscription increase with Marketplace ads with a 2.2x return on ad spend.

“All advertisers targeting audiences in the US and Canada can run ads in Marketplace using the traffic, conversions and product catalog objectives. Over the next few weeks, advertisers will also be able to target ads in Marketplace to audiences in Australia and New Zealand, and will be able to use the video views and reach objectives as well,” the company shared.

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