At present, marketers wishing to advertise on Facebook face an overwhelming number of 27 different format options. While most of these options do have their own advantages, many of them actually serve to accomplish similar goals. As the choice has been somewhat confusing, Facebook has now decided to streamline their ad services. Cutting back to less than have the currently existing number of options, the social network hopes to make life a whole lot easier for marketers.
One of thee changes to be filtered in is the fact that the 'Sponsored Stories' format will cease to be a standalone option. Instead, it will be available to marketers through varying other ad options. This move comes in an effort to achieve greater consistency in how ads look across Facebook.
Advertisers will also be presented with the choice to purchase ads based on varying consumer targeting goals. This may include convincing consumers to 'Like' pages, go to the advertiser's site to take advantage of a deal, download apps or print out offer-coupons to take to land-based outlets.
Starting some time late this month, Facebook will begin by bringing in these consistency changes, with other changes gradually taking place from then onward until autumn. According to a spokesman, present pricing structures will not be affected by these changes
According to social media consultant Brent Csutoras (Kairay Media), continual relevance and frequent updates to ad platforms are vital to protect the provider's revenue, which in the case of Facebook comes by up to 85% from advertising. As such, these changes should be welcomed by all.
Combining elements that were previously available as individual options essentially means ads will be more comprehensive. It will also allow ads to be more focused on marketer's goals and end--users should be happier as ads will become more uniform in appearance.
Csutoras also pointed out a potential pitfall of these changes. If ads become more uniform, there is a chance that Facebook users will quickly get used to what they see and click on fewer ads as a result. As he points out, however, this will depend to a great deal on how the ads will ultimately look and how they are incorporated into pages.
He goes on to state that while this is an important step into the right direction, he believes that Facebook will also have to work on the quality of ads - which has on occasion left much to be desired - to really make them work for marketers.