NEW YORK (
(FB - Get Report)
has not had the easiest of times since
earlier this year, dashing investor hopes of a massive IPO pop. Since then, CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his team have faced ongoing questions about slowing growth and the company's ability to
Shares of the
have tumbled 40% since its offering in May, but have rallied recently thanks to a number of catalysts, including a new advertising platform.
The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company began testing the Facebook Ad Exchange, or FBX, during the second quarter of this year, letting marketers bid for ad impressions on the site. Touted as a way to deliver more relevant ads to users, FBX lets advertisers
based on their browsing history, a practice known as retargeting.
If a user, for example, visits an online retailer, FBX can generate a related ad when he next logs onto the social networker's site. Advertisers can then purchase these ads through what's been described as an
, known as real-time bidding (RTB).
"Facebook Exchange allows marketers to use their own real-time consumer insight data to reach an audience on Facebook," noted Scott Shapiro, a Facebook product marketing manager, in a recent
The real-time aspect of FBX is key, giving sportswear companies the ability, for example, to market their wares during the World Cup final or the Super Bowl.
Now out of beta, FBX has garnered stellar reviews from a host of marketing specialists. Retargeting platform
, which was one of the earliest companies on the Facebook Exchange, said that its advertisers saw an average 16x return on investment thanks to FBX. AdRoll has already used the technology to launch campaigns for 60 advertisers, including home furnishing company
Room & Board
, social media dashboard
and camera specialist
, which has been serving ads through FBX for three months, said that its clients have seen a 10x to 20x ROI.
, Zach Coelius, CEO of retargeting specialist
, said that FBX has a four-time higher return on advertising spending compared to exchanges such as
(GOOG - Get Report)