Facebook Updates Ads for Brands

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Facebook is rolling out a new way for their Exchange ads to reach users by allowing them to appear in people's desktop news feeds (and not just in the sidebar). What does this mean?

You've probably already seen sponsored and promoted posts in your news feed. But the new FBX ads aren't just your run-of-the-mill sponsored posts: their very appearance in your feed is based on your online browsing activity. As Tech Crunch describes it, the ad platform allows advertisers to direct their marketing based on “users’ online browsing habits, using a cookie based real-time bidding platform.” And now, instead of only appearing in the right side bar, FBX ads can appear in desktop news feeds: that is, the place where most Facebook users spend most of their time. (Note: these ads will not yet appear in mobile news feeds.)

In addition to the new placement of these ads, users can also like, share, and comment on the Exchange ads, just as they can on any other post appearing in their news feed. In my mind, there are pros and cons to the like and comment features of these ads. On the pro side, this feature gives Facebook users another way to interact with ads. So while many people might not click through to the landing page on the ad itself, that doesn't mean that they won't like or comment on a clever, funny, or inspiring FBX ad in their news feed. (And this is the kicker: a Facebook ad that's not clever, funny, or inspiring will likely ring hollow to people who come to the site for the very purpose of seeing what's clever, funny, and inspiring that day.)

In this respect, increased brand interaction will mean increased brand recognition. What's more, since the ads are already “custom-fit” to users based on their browsing habits, it might be more likely that users will pay attention to these ads when they see them in their news feeds.

On the other hand, this feature also means that brands will have to pay careful attention to exactly what's going on in those comments sections. As we all know, it doesn't take long for comments to go awry. Like any other social media activity, brands will want to monitor these ads to ensure that the comments aren't drowning out—or worse yet, damaging—the brand itself.

Beyond this specific feature, however, it seems that the new FBX ads can offer something even more enticing to brands and businesses: namely, a much better ROI than we've seen in previous iterations of Facebook ads. In fact, Ad Roll has reported a 16x return on their customers' investments when it comes to Exchange ads. With these FBX ads now given the green light to appear in the section of Facebook that sees the highest levels of activity, advertisers might soon see an even greater return.

At Bold Hive, we can help you determine if a FBX ad makes sense for your company and your brand. They just might be a way for you to reach the Facebook users who are a perfect fit for your product or services.