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Facebook Closes FBX as Mobile Continues to Dominate

Tim Maytom

Facebook-login1.jpgFacebook has announced plans to shut down its desktop ad exchange FBX, as it switches its focus to mobile and its own purchasing platforms, closing out third party ad tech companies.

FBX, which launched in 2012, failed to keep adapt with the changing face of digital advertising, with no support for mobile or for video advertising. With mobile accounting for 82 per cent of Facebook's Q1 ad revenue, and the company already trimming its third-party offerings, FBX was a natural target for closure.

Facebook began alerting FBX partners earlier this week that the platform would be shuttered by the end of the year, with November a likely date for the final shutdown. Ad tech companies including AppNexus, Criteo, DataXu and MediaMath have all made use of FBX, buying ads on behalf of marketers and using non-Facebook data to assist with targeting.

"Mobile is now a necessary component of effective marketing campaigns, and Facebook is helping millions of businesses understand their customers' purchase path across devices," said Matt Idema, vice president of monetisation product marketing at Facebook. "Dynamic Ads and Customer Audiences have mobile at their core and are delivering excellent results for businesses, so Facebook Exchange spending has shifted towards those solutions."

Over the past few years, Facebook has rolled back support to third-party ad tech firms as its own Facebook Audience Network grew stronger. In 2015 it reduced the number of partners who were eligable to buy ads via FBX, and in January, it closed its LiveRail video ad server to new customers.

Third party vendors are still able to purchase ads on Facebook through the company's API, and most FBX partners work with other exchanges, so were not reliant on Facebook's ad inventory, but Criteo did see its shares slump on the New York Stock Exchange following the news breaking.