Facebook News Feed ads will change on Aug. 19, to benefit mobile users and advertisers who are trying to reach those consumers. The most important update for marketers is that visible text will drop from seven to three lines.
As is the current mode of news delivery, the information first came in tweets on July 17 from Susan Wenograd, VP of marketing strategy at aimClear, a digital marketing agency. The news later showed up on a Facebook Business Ads Help Center page.
🚨 1/ Changes to Post/Ad text lines & image sizes coming to mobile News Feed starting 8/19. Roll-out will continue through 9/2. Here are the changes:
— Susan Wenograd (@SusanEDub) July 17, 2019
“Mobile advertising revenue represented approximately 93% of advertising revenue for the first quarter of 2019, up from approximately 91% of advertising revenue in the first quarter of 2018.”
And advertising revenue, overall, increased 26% YOY to $15 billion in Q1 2019, according to stats Facebook released on April 24.
Facebook’s help center page touts the change as a win-win 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.”
As many marketers know, Facebook owns Instagram, which is an image-based social media network. Making the ad formats more visual would make them more transferrable.
The Facebook help center page continues, regarding the changes arriving on Aug. 19:
- Fewer Lines of Primary Text Will Show on Mobile News Feed. Now only [three] lines of primary text will show on Facebook mobile News Feed, after which people will be prompted to click to view additional text.
- Maximum Media Height for Photos and Videos Will Reduce to 4:5 on Mobile News Feed. The tallest supported aspect ratio for images without links and for videos is now vertical (4:5). Media taller than 4:5 will be masked on Facebook mobile News Feed.
Digiday’s article on July 19 reads:
“These moves come as Facebook ads become more expensive, especially in the News Feed, and more advertisers join Facebook. The company recently touted its new milestone of supporting 7 million active advertisers. Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg stressed at Cannes that the success of the company is based on growing its small business accounts, not just ad dollars from big brands. The hope for these changes is that all advertisers will be forced to make more engaging Facebook ads, marketers said.”
Facebook’s mobile News Feed ad change makes no mention of any data privacy changes marketers may be expecting as a result of the company’s recent $5 billion fine from the FTC regarding the Cambridge Analytica situation. But Facebook’s Q1 earnings announcement did allude to the fallout from the now-defunct company using millions of Facebook users’ data to target them for ads to vote for now-President Donald Trump.
The Q1 earnings announcement reads:
"We had a good quarter and our business and community continue to grow," said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook [co-]founder and CEO. "We are focused on building out our privacy-focused vision for the future of social networking, and working collaboratively to address important issues around the Internet."
Below the first table, listing billions flowing into the company, is this asterisk:
“ * Includes a $3.0 billion legal expense, accrued in the first quarter of 2019, related to the ongoing U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) matter, as discussed below. As this expense is not expected to be tax-deductible, it had no effect on our provision for income taxes. Excluding this expense, our operating margin would have been 20 percentage points higher, our effective tax rate would have been 14 percentage points lower and our diluted EPS would have been $1.04 higher.”
What do you think, marketers?
Please respond in the comments section below.
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