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Facebook Exchange

Facebook has implemented a new platform called Facebook Exchange (FBX) that manages the systems to let advertisers bid for ads and place them in real time on a user’s page. It monitors information gathered from a user’s visits to other websites to select the best ads to place on the page.

Facebook’s method of gathering data to provide users with a better advertisement experience that is more relevant to their interests is extremely similar to our previous discussions of recommending “new friends” to people based on known information. However, instead of linking people, FBX links information. Data gathered from a user’s visit to a tech site is linked to advertisements for other technologically relevant associations and marketers. Likewise, “success” can be monitored based on how often a user will actually click on the advertisement.

However, FBX is also receiving criticism in that it concentrates less on “social” advertisements. Social advertisements engage more in the social context in which the user views the ad. It takes more than just the data gathered by a user’s browser history–it utilizes information known about the user’s entire social network. Creating a system based on social advertisements would require processing a much larger network. It requires taking data regarding a user as well as the hundreds of people included in the user’s social network, analyzing clusters that the user is closer to, and selecting the best advertisements based on the information from those analyses. Since FBX does not provide much in the way of social advertisements, critics say that it inhibits the social experience, limiting the flow of information or the sharing of interests within a user’s social network.



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September 2012