More than a year after Facebook opened its exchange, Google is finally being integrated into the retargeting service through its demand side platform, DoubleClick Bid Manager (fka Invite Media), the company said in a blog post.
The integration comes a day after Google posted Q3 earnings that demonstrated the slowing of its paid click growth and an indication that it would look more toward hardware first to generate the bulk of its revenues.
As Payam Shodjai, Google's senior product manager, writes, "Partnership has been key to Google’s success as a rising tide lifts all boats. So we’re excited to announce a new way to help our clients succeed by working with Facebook to participate in FBX, their real-time bidding exchange."
The integration of Google's BidManager into FBX comes as the company has been driving hard to promote even greater adoption and dominance of its ad tech “stack” strategy. Among the first steps Google took towards approaching Facebook as a potential partner in the social network's exchange was the addition of social media campaign manager Wildfire, which the search giant acquired for $250 million in 2012, into DoubleClick Digital Marketing (DDM). As Google display head Neal Mohan said many times over the past year, the company believes there is a “$200 billion opportunity” in unlocking offline dollars for exchange-based ad spending.
While Google and Facebook have been locked in a race for display dominance since last year, it will be interesting to see which one sees the greater benefit. As eMarketer figures show, Google will bring in more US display ad dollars than any other company this year, topping the market with 15.4% share. Facebook, by comparison, will earn $2.16 billion and a 14.4% share in the US display ad market by the end of 2013.
To be sure, Google has vied to be part of FBX since it began accepting partners and Publicis trading desk had been known to complain about having to choose between the the two. With this deal, Google's existing exchange partners are likely to be cheering about access even more than either Facebook or the search giant.
In the meantime, there's a number of questions to be sorted out, given that Google said it will not be commenting beyond its blog post today. For one thing, will advertisers be able to buy Facebook Exchange inventory through Google AdWords now or someday soon? After all, AdWords buys through the exchange.
A Google rep said that "Bid Manager is the way agencies/advertisers can buy across exchanges (not just AdX/Google Display Network) and this doesn't change that."
Digital ad executives expressed relief Google and Facebook have moved past their differences -- and that they'll no longer be asked what they think of the stalemate.