Facebook has looked to further challenge Google’s position in online display through trials of header-bidding technology.

The social platform is expanding its Audience Network, a tool enabling brands to extend their ad campaigns on Facebook to the rest of the web, using the programmatic technique.

This poses a challenge to the monopoly of Google DoubleClick, a subsidiary of the tech giant which develops and provides ad services online. Header bidding lets multiple exchanges battle it out for ad slots, rather than first refusal going to Google, which is said to be getting publishers the best price for their inventory.

Facebook is thought to be in an ”early” stage of testing the solution across mobile and video ads.

More competition

One of the latest buzzwords and biggest trends in the space, header bidding has been adopted by almost 70% of publishers, according to BI Intelligence. Its popularity lies in the way it increases competition for impressions, thus maximising ad revenues.

Previously, sites used DoubleClick’s tool – Dynamic Allocations – to auction off their ad space, with Google getting the first look. Through the simple insertion of code, header bidding sidesteps this by sending out the ad request to a line of servers before AdX takes a look, adding a much-needed sense of competition.

Andre Baden-Semper, European VP of sales & marketing at online media content group Purch, is excited to see Facebook entering the space.

“It’s challenging Google head-on for a direct share of the programmatic space and the move will propel competitors to further build upon the services they already have or to create their own offerings,” he commented.

Looking into the future, Baden-Semper foresees a “flurry” of innovations in the ad-serving space within the next year, which will allow Facebook to offer publishers premium ad opportunities.  

“With Facebook recognising that they can increase yield and profitability alongside premium content, advertisers will soon be faced with a hugely significant step forward in targeting key audiences,” he explained, adding that what used to be a “niche” in the programmatic space will become the “ad tech craze” over the next 12 months.

According to AdAge, Facebook could launch the header bidding solution as early as September or October this year.