What’s in store for Facebook Advertising in 2013? Recent Facebook news gives us a few clues as to what to expect, but we do know for certain that it will be constantly changing at a fast pace!

Here are a few trends to watch:

 

The Development of Instagram Ads

Since Facebook acquired Instagram in April, speculation and reports ran wild that ads would come to Instagram. Executives for Facebook noted that they are seeking avenues to monetize the website and its 100 million active users.

This week, the site’s users were outraged upon hearing about a change to their terms and conditions that said Instagram users would “…agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos….in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.”

Exactly what will happen at this point is still developing (Instagram has issued a retraction of sorts), but we do know that Instagram is destined to become a revenue stream that could potentially open an entirely new social ad inventory to Facebook advertisers.

 

More and More Mobile Ads

Released in June, “page like sponsored stories” are a mobile-targeted ad option offering accessibility to Facebook’s 543 million active mobile users. According to eMarketer, mobile ad sales grew in 2012 at a “faster-than-expected rate, with Google still topping the pile, and Facebook settling into the No. 2 position.”

eMarketer also estimates that Facebook’s U.S. mobile ad sales will increase 151% to $851.4 million in 2013, surprisingly, a higher increase than what is expected for Google.

Mobile will continue to make a strong impact on how advertisers see social ads, and Facebook’s platform is shaping up to be the first stop.

 

Increased Options for Mobile Apps

Previously, mobile apps ads would drive installs by taking people away from Facebook directly to the Apple’s App Store or Google Play. Now, Facebook’s updated mobile app install ads offer an improved user experience. When users click on an ad, the App Store will appear in a pop-up dialog box. After installing the app, users can  go back to Facebook on the same screen.

In addition to the ease of download, the reporting will provide age, gender, and country data of those who downloaded. Very valuable demographics!

With this new capability, would it be possible to offer additional types of downloads from ads – such as software downloads, brochures, music, etc. – that advertisers can leverage?

facebook app installations

 

New Video Ads

In the first half of 2013, Facebook is expected to release video ads into the user’s news feed on both the desktop version of Facebook and Facebook apps on mobile phones and tablets.

The ads are expected to auto-play as well as expand into the webpage on either side. This will surely get the users’ attention, but it could be in a negative way. Some may consider the video ads annoying or even imposing.

Reports describe this ad unit as competing with TV spot inventory, so this is not an ad immediately planned for the self-service platform.

 

State of Advertiser Confidence

Facebook has not had all good news in 2012, with an underwhelming IPO and negative campaign results feedback. Feedback on some campaigns performance for Wal-Mart and General Motors have been less than stellar, but that shouldn’t, overall, discourage large companies with large ad budgets.

But what about SMBs looking to grow revenue and brand exposure on Facebook? Some of the news may sway their opinion and urge them to pull out advertising or never try it in the first place. It’s clear that this negative sentiment won’t hurt Facebook’s ad revenues, but it will continue to be an issue for them to address as they move into programs that target smaller advertisers.

– Lisa Raehsler

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Lisa Raehsler is founder and principal strategist at Minnesota-based online advertising agency Big Click Co.