A quick search on Facebook's Preferred Marketing Developer directory reveals that the number of real-time bidding partners for the Facebook Exchange is 12, three fewer than were announced back in September. What gives?
Contrary to appearances, the three missing companies -- [x+1], Optimal, and Kenshoo – have not been kicked off of FBX for violating policies, nor have they been stripped of qualifications for technical reasons. Rather, getting final approval to join Facebook's RTB club is just taking a while.
The reason for the hold up is fairly simple: Facebook requires companies to have a direct real-time bidding solution in place and to meet a number of other standards for qualification before it will add them to the official list of RTB partners. The companies still awaiting approval either (a) are accessing FBX using an RTB integration with AppNexus or another company, (b) are still ramping up their own direct integration, or (c) have yet to meet the full battery of qualification hurdles.
Facebook declined to comment on the record, but two of the companies in question – Kenshoo and Optimal – offered statements confirming this state of affairs.
Kenshoo says its Facebook Exchange solution is currently in "Early Access" mode, meaning it has not reached what Facebook calls the “General Availability” stage when it is added to the PMD directory and the new business starts flowing in.
A Kenshoo rep tells AdExchanger, "In the interim, Kenshoo is working within the Facebook Exchange ecosystem and partnering with direct service providers to fulfill customer demand while adding additional value through attribution and optimization across regular Facebook activity as well as other media channels such as search."
Optimal also says it's in the thick of the evaluation process, and preparing for a demonstration of its technology to the Facebook team. [x+1], the only major Demand Side Platform company still awaiting approval, didn't reply to an inquiry by press time. (update: [x+1] says it too is awaiting final approval.)