Facebook is making changes that will affect advertisers. The social media giant has announced that it is changing the way Ads appear in its’ Newsfeed. Beginning on August 19, the number of visible lines of text will drop from seven to three. The idea is to make this easier on mobile readers and those trying to reach them.
On the Facebook Business Blog the social network announced the changes so that advertising will “match the look and feel of the new Facebook design introduced earlier this year”. The changes will align with the updated Facebook app, FB5, which was announced previously this year.
Facebook also will change the aspect ratio of images and videos in sponsored posts to 4:5 from the current 2:3. The revision will mean that images appear shorter on mobile screens, and that media taller than the new 4:5 ratio will be “masked” in the News Feed. Facebook claims this will make things better for marketers and consumers. “The changes to text, photos and videos are designed to simplify our formats and improve the consistency of our mobile experience. This will help drive increased ad effectiveness and make it easier to use the same assets on Facebook News Feed and Instagram feed,” said Facebook.
As most of the world knows, Facebook owns Instagram. Instagram is image based. Making Facebook ads more visual will make it easier to run ads on both platforms.
Facebook is the latest digital media company to make major changes aimed at mobile consumers. Google has gradually transitioned its advertisers to mobile-friendly sites as usage of devices continues to grow. Facebook announced that 93% of its Q1 2019 revenue came from mobile advertisers, up from 91% in 2018. Year over year revenue increased by 26% at the media giant, to $15 billion in Q1. Taken into context, the FTC fining Facebook $5 billion dollars will not set the company back for long.
Facebook’s changes to its mobile ad format show that the company is trying to make advertising less intrusive. For a company that has long made changes to its ad formats to benefit brands, this is a major change. Advertisers will have less room to engage consumers with text and images. With reduced ad space it is more important for marketers to develop creative assets to hook consumers as they move through the News Feed. Facebook finally seems to be putting user experience first.
Advertisers that want to include more imagery in their ads can try Facebook’s Carousel format that can be swiped left to right to show up to 10 photos with accompanying text.
Essentially, starting on August 19, if you’re looking to maximize your Facebook ads, you’ll need to make those first three lines super-effective, while you’ll also need to keep the image height change in mind in your formatting to ensure the best presentation.
And given the competition for attention in News Feeds, this is a key update. If you know anyone who uses Facebook ads, make sure they know about the coming changes.