Photo: Getty Images / Justin Sullivan
Facebook has allowed a second company that targets ads using data derived from users of Google into its ad exchange. Search retargeting firm Simpli.fi announced that it had qualified to become a partner in Facebook Exchange, or FBX, the social network’s real-time online bidding ad auction platform.The first company to bring search data derived from Google users was Chango, which signed a similar deal to target Facebook users in December.
The pacts indicate that Facebook is intent on encroaching on an area that Google has long-dominated: using search intent to target online shoppers. Both Chango and Simpli.fi work by dropping tracking cookies on users’ browsers as they surf the web.
If those users go shopping for cars, the cookie will track them. Once they log in to Facebook, they can now be targeted with car ads inside their Facebook accounts, via FBX.
Google was the king of shopping intent search for years because of the assumption that if you search for “Cadillac Escalade,” you’re likely looking to buy a Caddy. Google’s search ad revenues are in the billions for this reason.
Facebook has had a disadvantage in this arena because no one uses Facebook to go shopping. Search retargeting firms in FBX, however, can now bring an aspect of that to Facebook.
Given that up to one of every five pageviews on the internet is generated by Facebook, that’s a huge potential threat to Google.
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