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30Boxes team launches Facebook Ad Exchange

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Okay kids if you remember LinkExchange, the web-banner ad swap service that was snapped up by Microsoft back in November 1998 for $250 million, and then left it to languish, raise your hand. Of course, that $250 million investment was recently shut down by Microsoft.

LinkExchange founders are doing pretty well. One of them, Ali Partovi is currently riding the Facebook rocket, thanks to his not-so-new company, iLike (formerly GarageBand), which is often held up as a shining example of The Facebook-effect.

While they were busy scrounging for server-oomph, others were trying to figure out how to make money from all these hot-little Facebook apps that have the entire Valley foaming at the mouth. 30 Boxes team – Narendra Rocherolle, Julie Davidson and Nick Wilder – have launched a new venture called, Fbexchange.


Rocherolle explains to us that it is an “in-app” ad network for the Facebook platform, and the system will allow f8 app owners easily exchange links in order to get more attention and traffic. They can also carve out some impressions for paid-placements instead of just plain vanilla ad-exchanges.

Fbexchange has already signed up apps ranging from Free Gifts to Slide which owns a bunch of Facebook apps including, Top Friends. It seems there is a demand for a service that promotes applications, and app-writers are ready to go to extreme lengths.

It was only yesterday I ranted about All-Facebook-All-The-Time madness that had gripped the valley, at a time when there weren’t any clear signs of the apps being able to make money. Hey with this link-swapping and some carefully planted ads, this is one idea that might work. That is if Facebook allows this network to stay alive and thrive.

23 Responses to “30Boxes team launches Facebook Ad Exchange”

  1. How are they doing the link exchange such that it helps with SEO? The number of click-thrus is abismal on Face book. Doesn’t that render the value you much lower? The Advantage of Link Exchanges is to boost or at least not lose your place in Google. If the Link Exchange doesn’t put a link on your page pretty much all of the time, then it doesn’t really move anyone’s rank, and so it is not worth paying for.

    Is there something I missed in the way they are doing this?

  2. RandomRat

    I think I see FaceBook 2.0 evolving, which is nothing but MySpace with more garbage. As soon as you introduce add-ons, links, ads etc the whole eco system dies slowly. That’s pretty much what happens everytime someone decides they need to make some dough. Thats the difference between Craigslist and others (just the business model)

  3. So far Narendra’s app seems to be pure link exchange. He’s not doing the nasty, commercial “selling of ads for cash to just about anyone.” I am doing exactly that, of course.

    Dave Cancel, co-founder, is the other half of it. Lookery, an ad network just for Facebook app publishers, is selling now and will be live in a week or so.

  4. First, thanks for making me feel old in the intro, Om.

    Great idea by the 30 Boxes team, but you hit the nail on the head. If Facebook goes the MySpace route (talk about a walled garden), then you can expect Facebook to block this. Let’s hope not.

  5. interesting business idea.

    altho people who think they need facebook app advertising probably aren’t making good use of the feed to do app event notification. (ditto for AdWords — SEM is a great business because people are so crappy at doing good SEO).

    but i guess there’s plenty of people who got rich selling shit to stupid advertisers… narendra might just have something going there ;)