Facebook is experimenting with reduced image sizes for some page post ads that appear in the desktop News Feed, a spokesperson confirms.
Ads that do not include social context — meaning the user does not have a friend connected to the page being advertised — now include smaller photos and video thumbnails. Page post ads that include social context have full-size visuals.
The social network is “testing different sizes based on connectedness,” the spokesperson says.
Advertisements that do not include a friend’s endorsement may be seen as less welcome in the feed. By making these ads smaller, Facebook could reduce the amount of negative feedback they receive. However, this could also make these ads easier for users to scroll past.
Photos on “suggested posts” are now significantly smaller than photos posted by users or pages that a user Likes, but the images are still larger than the new link preview. A square photo seems to appear as 225 x 225 pixels. Video thumbnails are even smaller, as seen below.
Page post ads are among the more controversial ad types in News Feed because they take up a lot of space in the feed and do not always include mention of a user’s friend. Our own tests have found that many users see these ads as spam, and some users will comment on the page or report photos out of frustration. When posts receive negative feedback, it can hurt an ad campaign. Facebook has to balance making its ads noticeable and effective, but not overly obtrusive.