Over the past few years, the advertising landscape of Facebook has shifted pretty dramatically. Once confined to humble URL ads, featuring diminutive images and a pittance of text, we’re now able to take out Sponsored Story Ads, Mobile-only Page Post Ads, and more.
It looks like they’re just getting started, however, as Facebook will soon be rolling out a few new twists for marketers to play with. One is a new play on an old favorite: FBX, or Facebook Exchange ads, now for the newsfeed. The other is a bit of a shift for Facebook: video ads in the newsfeed.
Let’s break ’em down.
FBX in the Newsfeed
Before, FBX ads were limited to the right-hand column of the Facebook interface. However, back in March, Facebook began working with a small number of its FBX DSPs to test out a new variation: FBX ads in the Newsfeed. Recently, they’ve moved the ad unit into the beta testing phase, opening it up to more advertisers through a wider selection of DSPs.
What does this new format look like? Well, however you’d like it to. FBX Newsfeed ads are just unpublished Page Posts targeted at users who reach certain sections of your site. They’re even planning on bringing dynamic functionality to this process – imagine Page Post ads like the one below created with offers or discounts specific to the products or services a visitor had already shown an interest in.
Facebook Video Newsfeed Ads
A bit more on the shrouded-in-secrecy side are Facebook’s new Video advertisements.
Reportedly, the new ads will autoplay on loop in a user’s newsfeed. Although the sound will be off by default, a user can activate the sound for the ad, which then restarts the advertisement. The ads are reported to 15 seconds long, and are expected to be sold on a CPM basis.
Other rumors swirling in the pot have indicated the ads will expand to fit the entire three columns of the user’s screen, and users will only be exposed to a maximum of one video advertisement per day. There’s no current word on what extended functionality these ads will offer, like the ability to click through to a landing page. There’s also little being said about whether an ad that plays without the user activating the sound will count as an impression.
So what does this mean for us?
In this humble marketer’s opinion, it’s a mixed bag. Video ads offer a powerful delivery of a message and, depending on the functionality, might even make a great direct response tool. And having page posts dynamically inserted into the Newsfeed offers a powerful channel to retarget potential customers.
That said, both of these new ads are continuing to push the boundaries on the user comfort zone. I guess we’ll have to trust in Facebook’s ad serving algorithm to save the user experience.
What do you think of these new ad types? Share your thoughts in the comments.