Facebook have recently announced that they will be launching a retargeting service which will enable advertisers to target prospective customers based on their search history on the Facebook Exchange. The social giant will partner up with several demand side platform (DSP) sites which will enable Facebook to place cookies on a massive amount of users PC’s based on their search activities. They will also offer a Real Time Bidding feature whereby advertisers can bid for placement on partner sites in real time. The pricing will be calculated on a CPM model (cost per thousand impressions).

How Does It Work?

  • A user opens their browser and logs into Facebook
  • They navigate away from Facebook (still signed in) and visit a site on the DSP.
  • They perform a search in one of the DSP sites e.g. Caribbean cruises.
  • The DSP feeds this information back to the Facebook Exchange.
  • The user visits another site on the DSP.
  • They are targeted with tailored adverts about Caribbean cruises.

How Will It Affect The User?

The user will get served adverts tailored to their search activities. This can go one of two ways. The user shall be served with quality, relevant adverts for a period of time. The user shall be pestered with adverts everywhere they go. Search as well as site retargeting should be done at the right frequency and I would expect Facebook to provide a frequency capping setting where advertisers can specify how long their advert follows a user.

How Will It Affect The Advertiser?

At the moment, search retargeting is carried out by a handful of companies across the globe. The stumbling block for most clients when it comes to setting up a campaign is the minimum monthly spend figure which is usually about £5,000. Hopefully Facebook will offer a solution that does not have a minimum monthly spend which will allow advertisers, big or small, to avail of their retargeting platform.


The introduction of the Facebook Exchange will give SME’s the opportunity to add search retargeting to their list of advertising platforms. Site retargeting or remarketing is the highest converting form of display network advertising with search retargeting coming in second.