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Let me tell you, Facebook marketers – marketplace Facebook ads are going away. Those right-rail wonders that have sustained us for so long are going away for many obvious reasons, and once you start to think about it, it makes perfect sense – call it survival of the fittest.
Let’s look at the signals.
First of all, they should be gone by now if you look at historical signs from Facebook’s roadmap and images from the newest stuff coming out of Facebook. They aren’t engaging and they have a low CTR. They sit over there all lonely in the right rail and very few people click on them. When I say very few, I should be clear: they still get clicks, but it is becoming tougher to gather clicks there when all this great engagement is happening in the Newsfeed. Overall, a good CTR on those babies is .045 – I mean, not hot numbers, let’s be honest. We can do better for our clients.
Second, Facebook’s newest favorite thing to do is constantly talk about how the Newsfeed is the “most engaging place on the web.” This is actually pretty true in my opinion, and the studies that show that people spend tons of their time on Facebook don’t hurt the argument. This furthers the point that Facebook is going to eliminate those ads – users and engineers love the Newsfeed. The right rail clutters things up in their user interface, and honestly, if you look at the screenshots for Graph Search from a TechCrunch post, it’s super cleaned-up.
Third, yeah, just look at Graph Search (image above) – ads are already being show in there as examples! This all but proves that marketplace ads are going away.
Fourth, how about those recent changes to FBX ads allowing things outside of the right-rail ads? Last week, as many of us know, Facebook came out two weeks ago and said they’d be allowing FBX to hit the Newsfeed next. ( I wonder, as a side note, how much of the right rail is already dedicated to FBX from an inventory perspective.)
What does this mean for you, Facebook marketer?
It’s all good; if I’m reading the signs right, Facebook is moving towards a better user experience for all of us. It means cleaner, faster, and better looking social networking for all users, which leads to better ads that have great contextual targeting and gather worthwhile clicks for products and services people are actually interested in.
– Andrew Foxwell