Since its inception in 2012, Facebook® Exchange (or FBX) has been the de-facto choice for advertisers interested in remarketing on Facebook. The real time bidding system used cookie based retargeting to show highly relevant ads to people. Retargeting people via their actual online behavior allowed Facebook advertising to move beyond ads focusing on demand generation and reach, and become a player in the lower stages of the purchase funnel traditionally dominated by Google.

However, nearly two years later the Facebook remarketing scene has changed. Facebook is becoming an increasingly mobile platform (now, over 25% of people on Facebook access the platform via mobile only). FBX was built to succeed on desktop, and its ads are constrained to desktop News Feed & right hand column placements.

The New Kid On The Block

Enter Website Custom Audiences. Website Custom Audiences (or WCA) are another method of retargeting people based on the actions they’ve taken on your website. Where FBX is cookie based, WCA’s leverage the Facebook Remarketing Pixel to create audiences of people to target.

To make use of WCA as an advertiser, place the Facebook Remarketing Pixel across your website. You can then create audiences of people to target based on your internal URL structure. A great example would be targeting dropped purchasers by creating an audience of people who have hit your “Add To Cart” URLs, but exclude those who have made it to “Purchase Confirmation” URLs. You could also target people based on specific areas of your website, such as product categories. WCA affords advertisers a variety of segmentation options and the ability to target people throughout the purchase funnel.

Why Should I Use WCA over FBX?


There are a few distinct advantages to using Website Custom Audiences for remarketing purposes as opposed to FBX, the foremost being:

Target People Across Devices

The ability to target people across desktop and mobile to utilize all Facebook placements. This is by far one of the biggest advantages of WCA vs. desktop only FBX.

Layer Targeting

With Website Custom Audiences you can layer any of Facebook’s wide array of additional targeting on top of your Custom Audience. For example you could add in demographic or geographic restrictions, or layer on behavioral or interest targeting to build an even more robust targeting segment.

Leverage Multiple Bid Types

Where FBX only allows advertisers to bid on a cost per thousand impressions (CPM) model, WCA can leverage all of Facebook’s available bid types. This includes Facebook’s primary driver of offsite actions, oCPM bidding. By using oCPM, Facebook will prioritize ad delivery towards people within your defined audience who are most likely to achieve your desired action, which is a huge value-add over traditional CPM bidding.

Use Different Ad Units

Where FBX only let’s advertisers leverage one ad unit, Website Custom Audiences can be used to target people with multiple ad units. This includes Facebook’s recent launch of Multi Product Ads. An example of a combination of this new product with WCA would be targeting people who have viewed the “shoes” category of an E-Commerce site with a Multi Product Post containing your 3 top selling pairs of shoes. You can also layer on gender targeting (show men’s shoes to men and vice versa), which wouldn’t be possible with FBX.

Where FBX is still effective

There are still a few scenarios in which FBX provides additional value for advertisers to leverage. The big advantage FBX still has is its ability to serve dynamic creative to users based on their actions. FBX can show users the exact hotel they viewed on a travel site, or a predicted affinity based on buying patterns. WCA on the other hand still requires more manual work on the advertisers end. This is advantageous for large brands with diverse product catalogues that they want to remarket to people in a tailored fashion.


While FBX provides value in certain circumstances, WCA is growing in prominence on the Facebook remarketing scene for a multitude of reasons; the ability to target people on mobile, leverage multiple bid types, layer additional targeting and take advantage of different ad units.

It’s this rational, why we at AdParlor have decided to make a strategic decision to focus our remarketing efforts on Facebook using WCA. As the advertising industry, and indeed our business becomes increasingly mobile, our innovative new social advertising platform aligns to this model by building on and enhancing WCA, and giving our advertisers more flexibility to build out a successful social advertising strategy.

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