Facebook Patent Application Hints at Serving Ads, Content Off-Site

FacebookPatentApplicationUS20150100431Facebook filed a patent application Thursday for what it called a "social networking system data exchange," aimed at enabling advertisers to serve content on non-Facebook sites.

Business Insider reported on the patent filing, saying that advertisers' data would be combined with Facebook's social graph, and offering the example a woman in her 30s who recently bought sneakers and reads articles related to running would be served ads and content along those lines.

The patent's abstract reads:


An online publisher provides content items such as advertisements to users. To enable publishers to provide content items to users who meet targeting criteria of the content items, an exchange server aggregates data about the users. The exchange server receives user data from two or more sources, including a social networking system and one or more other service providers. To protect the user's privacy, the social networking system and the service providers may provide the user data to the exchange server without identifying the user. The exchange server tracks each unique user of the social networking system and the service providers using a common identifier, enabling the exchange server to aggregate the users' data. The exchange server then applies the aggregated user data to select content items for the users, either directly or via a publisher.

As Business Insider pointed out, Facebook already has Facebook Exchange and LiveRail in terms of ad exchanges, but FBX only covers ads on Facebook itself, and LiveRail is limited to ads within videos and mobile applications.

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Readers: What do you think of the potential of this "mega ad exchange" from Facebook?


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