Facebook Tests New Ad Format With 5 Ads Per Page

Yesterday afternoon a Facebook advertiser sent me a screenshot of a new advertising layout that Facebook has been testing. The new design is wider and also includes 5 advertisements instead of 3, which is the maximum number of Facebook advertisements currently displayed on pages by default. The new advertisement format comes at a time when the media is still looking for a breakthrough revenue model from the company.

One easy way to increase revenue is to increase the number of advertisements on any given page. The new format of the advertisements places the ad images directly next to the text related to that advertisement in a similar fashion to Facebook’s application advertisements. The advertisers I spoke with was somewhat frustrated because they didn’t know if they were being charged for the new ad layout which was being tested.

While the advertisers confessed that they preferred the new layout format, they didn’t like the increase in ads being displayed and the wanted more information about how the ads were being positioned. Google’s self-serve advertisement system for example, provides information about the average position that your ad is being displayed. Facebook in contrast provides less information about ad positioning.

Regardless of a lack of verifiable metrics provided by Facebook, advertisers that I’ve spoken to are seeing much higher conversion rates despite lower click through rates. The result is that advertisers keep coming back and continue increasing their ad expenditure. The advertiser I spoke to spent as much as $30,000 a month on Facebook ads although that has been decreased slightly due to the current economic environment.

Have you seen any of the new wider format ads? Do you prefer this new format or do you like the current one? What improvements would you like to see in the Facebook advertising system?