Wahey! The long-awaited Facebook Timeline-style formats for brand pages has officially rolled out today – which lets pages have a large cover photo for aesthetic purposes (no written information is allowed on it), and a reshuffling of the information on it. Check out what it looks like at FRANk’s Facebook page.
One of the interesting changes for brand pages now is that when someone first visits a brand page, they may see friends’ interactions with that page spotlighted as friend activity, making each visit to a page more socially relevant. People will also see how many of their friends are connected to a page.
Besides the changes to brand pages however, Facebook also announced several advertising developments at its first-ever Facebook marketing conference (fMC) in New York City.
Premium ads and Sponsored Stories will enter mobile feeds and more
Previously, ads were only shown on the sidebar and desktop News Feed. Now they will begin to appear in the News Feed on m.facebook.com and native iOS and Android apps. This marks the first time the company has brought ads into its mobile products and is part of a significant update to its marketing and advertising products. Advertisers will now be able to reach the company’s 425 million monthly mobile users.
Sponsored Stories in the mobile News Feed will appear similar to Sponsored Stories on the desktop News Feed, which were introduced in January.
Premium ads are only available to advertisers working directly with Facebook representatives, not form the self-serve of Ads API tools. The introduction of premium ads in both types of News Feeds (as opposed to being confined to the sidebar on the desktop site) allows premium advertisers to reach fans connected to their Page from within the News Feed, even if there is no friend activity that could generate a Sponsored Story.
Ads will thus be able to be distributed in several channels (from left to right) – on the brand’s Facebook page, on users’ home page sidebars, in users’ News Feeds on the desktop, in the News Feed on mobile, and starting in April, as part of the log out experience.
Updated premium ads
Facebook has just phased out the Classic Premium Ad formats – premium like, premium event, video comments, and premium poll and will be introducing new versions instead. The new premium ads work like this:
Offers through the News Feed or ad units
Facebook pages will soon have access to a new story type that allows page owners to post offers that users can collect from News Feed or ad units. Unlike check-in deals which required users to first visit a physical location, offers can be redeemed in-store or online. The social network plans to remove check in deals in the coming weeks.
Offers are free to make, just like any other post, and do not require approval from Facebook before going live. For users, getting offers will be frictionless – one tap / click will send the offer to the user’s email account. From there, they can use the offer at a physical location, or enter the coupon code at an ecommerce site. When users obtain an offer, a story is generated to be shown on their Timeline and in their network’s News Feed, thus increasing the viral reach of the promotion.
Although it’s free to make an offer, brands can pay to boost the offer into Sponsored Stories, or turn it into a premium homepage ad.
Exciting times ahead for brands on Facebook!