On the “Facebook’s FBX: The Year Zero View” panel at OMMA RTB yesterday, the panelists all agreed that while FBX has changed the game, it still has room to shake things up even more. Panelist Jeff Hinz, managing partner, U.S. digital director, GroupM, Mediacom, called FBX a “new shiny object” that he believes will stay around for the long haul. “We’ve seen quite impressive results from this new shiny object…within the space,” he said.
Joining Hinz on the panel were Christine Bensen, National Lead, Digital Media, iCrossing; Chris Eberle, VP of Global Accounts, AppNexus; And George Thomas, VP of Product Development, Pointroll. The panel moderator was Paul Dolan, Managing Director, North America, Xaxis.
When FBX was introduced last year, it opened up massive amounts of inventory. Leading up to the release of FBX, there was debate as to whether or not that inventory was high quality and worthwhile. The quality of that inventory is still up for debate, but Eberle thinks that FBX is doing more than just helping advertising on Facebook. “I think it’s fast-forwarding the adoption of RTB,” he said.
Thomas agreed that FBX was having a huge impact on the space as a whole, as well. He said, “FBX is to Facebook what Google AdWords was to Google.” He added, “To broaden it from Google, I think it’s going to impact any sellers of inventory.”
Eberle discussed how the competition FBX has provided Google is great for the industry as a whole. He compared Google’s dominance to his own days at AOL, saying that FBX is pushing Google to improve what they do. “When somebody is that far out ahead, it’s not good for you, consumers, or innovation, because nobody is pushing you to do it any better.”
All of the panelists believe that FBX needs to expand to more screens; More specifically, mobile. When asked what they saw looking ahead, going mobile was the answer. The question of FBX expanding brings up an interesting point raised by Hinz. He says that there is a little bit of a tug-of-war going on because the question of “Where does this platform exist?” hasn’t exactly been answered. With FBX comes social, search, display, and the possibility of mobile. Hinz called it a, “mixed bag.”
The panelists seemed to think that FBX will have a positive impact on consumers only if the advertisers properly retarget. The “creepy” factor of retargeting was discussed, as well. Bensen believes the older generations might find it creepy, but that the younger generation doesn’t think it goes too far. Instead, she says that they expect marketers to be getting it right.
The panelists were all high on FBX. However, in order to become a true “game changer,” FBX needs to make its way to mobile at some point soon, or else it might just end up being remembered as Facebook’s version of Google AdWords.