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What Facebook Ads Changes Really Mean

Jennifer Mulligan

Facebook’s changes to its advertisement policies have turned out to be more controversial than one would imagine. Critics think that the changes make ads too invasive into users’ personal newsfeeds or copy Twitter’s “Promoted Tweets.” On the other hand, advertisers appreciate having more creative control and being able to better target niche markets. Here’s the low-down on the Facebook ad policy change:

Facebook has had a total of 27 varieties of ads. Facebook’s changes are intended to streamline their ad system by eliminating ads categories that overlap with other types and adjusting the remaining varieties. For example, Facebook is eliminating an ad type called “Sponsored Results” because “Page Post Links” has the same capabilities. The hope is that these changes will make the ads more appealing to Facebook users as well as generate more off-site conversions and sales.

The two main types of ads in this controversy are the domain ads you see on the right-hand side of the screen and “Page Post Link” ads that appear in your News Feed.

Changes to domain ads:

  • Larger ad size to encourage user engagement
  • Personalized ad images instead of a Facebook default thumbnail
  • New ad-creation tools to more easily segment markets

Changes to “Page Post Link” ads:

  • More options for “Page Post Link” content
  • Create new content for “Page Post Link” ads instead of using existing posts

Eliminated Facebook ad varieties:

  • “Sponsored Results” – a similar function exists in “Page Post Link” ads and App Install ads
  • Questions ad unit – marketers can do the same thing via their Facebook page
  • Offers product – companies have found that using a Page Post Link ad drives more people to deals on their web sites

There you have it: the Facebook ad controversy in a nutshell. Instead of a menu of 27 ads, Facebook is telling us that “Page Post Link” ads can do almost anything. Please comment if you think I left out something important.