Facebook Aims To Make Ads Simpler, Better For Advertisers And Users

By Justin Lafferty 

Facebook announced Thursday that it is making the process of creating ads simpler and based more on objectives. The company feels that this will improve the experience not only for advertisers, but for users, as well. Users will see a more standard set of ads, and the controls given to advertisers will make it so that users see more relevant ads. Facebook detailed the company’s plans for advertising to groups of reporters in Menlo Park, Calif., and New York.

Right now, Facebook has 27 types of ad units, ranging from domain sponsored stories to promoted posts and logout ads. While it’s not exactly eliminating them, it is changing the way advertisers reach users.

Facebook Ads Product Manager Fidji Simo told reporters that advertising on Facebook would be switched around. Instead of an advertiser saying it wants to create a like post ad or sponsored story, it can indicate that it is trying to drive more traffic to tits website, or that it desires a mobile app install ad, or it is going for more foot traffic or conversions.

Basically, the objective will be the first thing an advertiser indicates, not the type of ad. Some potential examples of the objectives Facebook can offer are to drive awareness of a message, drive views of a video, drive likes, drive online sales, or drive people to stores with coupons, among others.

Facebook said there is no set date for this process to start, but it should roll out within the next few weeks.

Simo talked with reporters about why Facebook wants to simplify the whole process, noting that this is all still a work in progress:

What we really want to do is reduce redundancies and make sure that there is one clear path for every advertiser that wants to achieve an objective … We’ve worked really, really closely with marketers, and we actually learned from them about what is working for them.

Instead of having to create three separate types of ads to achieve an objective, these types will be combined:

This will also help to make page administrators’ posts more effective. For instance, a question ad posted doesn’t really show much or drive much engagement, but this capability will be rolled into a photo ad that is much more pleasing to the eye for users.

Brian Boland, Facebook’s director of product marketing, discussed how simplifying the ad-creation process will actually enhance the user experience:

From audience selection, to targeting and choosing the right people that matter to you, to the actual creative ad format — if we make those steps easier, that actually improves user experience. There’s a better piece of creative and a more relevant piece of creative in front of that person. As we do everything, we really focus on the user experience in the News Feed.

Readers: How do you feel about these changes in Facebook’s advertising?