Notice something a little different on Facebook the last few days? If you thought an ad or two looked a little bigger than usual, you’re not alone. Facebook is testing a new ad format for ads in the right column of permanent link pages for posts. While the ad size actually hasn’t changed, this new type of ad unit contains an image that spans the width of the ad, along with copy underneath the image.
According to InsideFacebook, a spokesperson for Facebook said:
“We are running a small test in the U.S. where some people might see ads in the right-hand column that feature larger images. We have seen that people respond favorably to larger images — both from people and pages — in News Feed, and as such we are testing this out on the right–hand side.”
InsideFacebook reports they have only seen this type of advertisement for ModCloth, and I have seen a version from Expedia, suggesting advertisers are working directly with Facebook to test this new version of Facebook ads. Interestingly, each “test” looks slightly different. As with the ModCloth ad InsideFacebook highlights, the names of my friends were not linked to the their Timelines. (Instead, clicking almost anywhere in the ad directed me to Expedia’s Facebook page.)
Unlike ModCloth’s ad, Expedia’s ad featured a slightly transparent “Like Page” button on top of the image in the ad. Hovering over the button brought the button to full-color. Similar to other “Like Page” buttons, this button does not seem to redirect users elsewhere if they choose to click this in-ad button, and are immediately given the option to “Unlike Page” – right in the ad.
This new type of ad unit is promising. The design is definitely much more noticeable than current options for advertisers, and the embedded option to “Like” a page within an ad could help brands drive conversions – especially if the ad is part of a retargeting campaign. If this test is successful and rolls out to all advertisers, this new format could be one of the best advertising options for businesses and brands on Facebook.
In addition to writing about emerging news and trends in the performance marketing industry, she is a columnist for Forbes, covering the intersection of technology and society. She can be can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, or her personal blog... and usually with a cup of coffee in hand, too.