Back in April of last year Facebook began testing a new ad format, but not until the latest design screenshots did we begin to see the new format reappear. Also interestingly enough, Facebook is currently displaying automatically generated “Suggestions” above the advertisements. The reason I call it “interesting” is that we would expect this to detract from the ads which are generating revenue for Facebook.
Alternatively, the new placement for “Suggestions” (seen in screenshot below) may drive more users to view the ads area, something that they previously avoided. While Facebook is still in the process of testing the new design, it’s pretty clear that they’ll opt for this new ad format in which the image is displayed to the left of the advertisement text.
Previously, Facebook had tested a format in which 5 advertisements were displayed on each page. With the new “Suggestions” area, the number of ads has been cut down to 3, the same number which has traditionally appeared in the sidebar. Limiting the advertising real estate seems a bit counter intuitive for a company which relies heavily on ad revenue to survive.
As I already mentioned though, perhaps Facebook has shown that the presence of “Suggestions” actually increases clicks on the advertisements. Do you like the new Facebook design? As an advertiser, are you concerned that it may decrease the performance of ads?
New design screenshots via Matthew Sanders