When it comes to updates in features and new roll outs, Facebook had a very interesting end to 2016, in the form of the updates in November and December. Social media is something that never stands still, so you would expect there to be updates and new releases on such a huge platform like Facebook. But in between replying to messages, uploading photos from the weekend, and sharing those all-important (and really quite entertaining) memes, there are a few updates that you might have missed.
Partial Removal of Ethnic Ad Targeting
In November, ProPublica published a report that highlighted how ads were being targeted based on ethnicity. When publishing an event ad on Facebook, buyers were given the option of choosing which ethnic groups would see the ad (e.g. African American, Hispanic, Asian American etc).
Since this report was released, Facebook has taken action in trying to make their ad-buying practices more transparent. The changes set to roll out include disabling ethnic targeting on ads that offer things such as employment, credit. or housing. There will also be updates made to Facebook’s Advertising Policies that will be even more restrictive as to what can be included in ads.
Coming Soon: Multi-Product News Feed Ads
These haven’t been rolled out yet, but the announcement of two-age multi-product news feed ads is a huge step forward for those who advertise their online retail companies through Facebook. The first page of your ad will remain the same, but the addition of the second page is could really boost sales.
The second page will allow you to display more products that you offer. Facebook plans to allow retailers to use up to 50 products on the second page. The second page will appear if users click on the ad, though related product images will still appear under the first page of the ad. If users click on the products on the second page, users will be transported to the retailer’s website.
New Call-to-Action Button Options
New call-to-action features have been rolled out in the US and will soon be rolling out in other countries. Up until now, the call-to-action features on Facebook have been very limited, but this is changing. Rather than being constrained to “book now”, “call now”, “contact us”, “use app”, or “shop now” there are some exciting new options that have developed thanks to Facebook partnering with other services.
If you are selling tickets, you can now use “buy tickets” as long as you are selling tickets through Eventbrite or Ticketmaster. “Get Showtimes” is another new feature that lets you provide schedules and sell tickets through Fandango. There are also two new features that encourage direct contact with users in the form of “Get Quote” and “Request Time”. These two calls-to-actions mean that a message thread is automatically created between your page and your customer; making it easier to keep in contact with them and develop a relationship.
Expansion of the Ad Network
Facebook has taken steps in getting closer to television ads with the announcement that they will be delivering video ads on services that run on systems such as Roku and Apple TV. This plan is still in the early stages of being developed, but it’s worth getting excited over.
Facebook will be able to compare the Facebook accounts on the same IP address as the Apple TV or Roku service and then deliver the relevant ads based on the data that is associated with the IP address. As this project is still in its test phase, they aren’t currently selling ad spots, but we’ll keep you posted on any developments.
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