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Facebook update makes sidebar ads look more ‘native’



Yesterday, Twitter announced a change that will make their profile pages look more like Facebook. Today, Facebook comes right back with a design change of their own that has been a long time coming. No, they’re not going to start showing all your Page posts to your followers – wouldn’t that be nice? They are going to update that outdated sidebar with ads that mimic the look of a Facebook post.

Way to go native-ish, Facebook.

Facebook updated ads

The new ad will be the same size and proportion as a desktop newsfeed ad. If you’re running both types of ads, that means you can use the same creative and that means you save time.

But the ease of use isn’t going to help most marketers. What is going to help marketers is the bold statement these new ad formats make.

First of all, they’re just easier to see. Bigger is better.

Second, they look like Facebook posts so when you skim a page, your brain says, ‘hey there’s more content over here.’

Third, they look like an ad from 2014 instead of one from 1980.

Facebook’s early tests show up to 3x more engagement and I believe it.

The only potential downside is that bigger ads means fewer ads. That means your ad is going to show up less often and / or Facebook is going to charge more to make up the missing revenue from the deleted ad space.

Either way, it’s still a win for marketers.

I’m not your typical Facebook user, but I discovered something interesting while writing this article. Yesterday, I would have said that Facebook ads are badly targeted. My ads are always for semi-scammy products that I have no interest in whatsoever. Today, I took a closer look at the ads on my page and I noticed something I’ve never noticed before – about half the ads in my sidebar are relevant, I just never noticed because the images and titles are so bad.

Note to Facebook: I don’t have a dog but you’re showing me an ad for dog products. I only speak English, but you’re showing me ads for a foreign language TV service. Seems like easy targeting options to me. . .

Bottom line, I’m on board. I actually like the new Facebook ad units. I think they’re going to lead to many more conversions – as long as they have an eye-catching photo and a grabber headline.