Facebook could be set to make waves across the ad-tech industry after filing a patent to create a new ad exchange.

The application, which surfaced yesterday (Thursday 9 April), points towards an ad exchange which would harness Facebook’s social data to serve content and advertorial across various websites.

The patent application shares details of an ad exchange which would combine advertiser data with Facebook’s vast collection of user information.

Facebook has access to an abundance of data on its users from what they have willingly included on their personal profiles: from their hobbies, taste in music and favourite films to their age and location.

Having this linked to an exchange would allow advertisers to bring their content – a display or video ad, app or even Facebook post – out to users who match a specific profile (as a result of Facebook’s data) when they visit a participating publisher’s website  

In the event that several advertisers want to reach the same users, the patent says real-time bidding would decide whose content is served to that particular audience.

Under threat

If the patent does indeed come to fruition, it could represent a huge step in the ad-tech world, aiding both advertisers and publishers looking to monetise their sites.

However, this is not good news for all. If passed, the patent could prove to be damaging for Google as it has the potential to coax publishers away from the company’s Doubleclick and AdSense offerings.

And Google is not the only one at threat from Facebook’s plans. Platforms such as Taboola and Outbrain which place paid-for content from brands on various sites could struggle to compete with Facebook’s hoard of verified data.

It is currently not clear if Facebook’s existing ad exchanges, FBX and its LiveRail platform, will be connected to the new product.