Facebook has long insisted that its ad products mimic how its 500 million users act on the site. Now, the company is emphasizing that point by introducing a new ad measurement based on social actions.
Advertisers will be able to see the performance of ads that include references to users' friends. A new tab in the Facebook Ads Manager carries ads with social actions' click-through rates, total clicks and impressions.
Facebook is banking on the data showing that users are far more likely to interact with ads that carry social actions than those without. It touts a Nielsen study from April that found people are 68 percent more likely to remember an ad when they see that a friend has interacted with it.
Facebook ads carry a variety of social actions. Placements may include references to friends who have liked a brand or voted in a poll. It uses the same approach to promote its own features, running placements that name friends who have tried products such as its Friend Finder application.
Social actions are a key differentiator for Facebook. They allow brands to attain added reach by having those actions appear in the stream of updates that users see. Those appearances often drive further social actions for the brand.
Facebook does not charge differently for ads that carry social actions compared to those that do not.