Facebook definitely likes to keep us on our toes. From changes to their algorithm to changes in profile appearance, it’s a continually evolving platform. We all know. We’ve been with them for the past 10 years.
Facebook advertising is no different. Even though changes to their advertising doesn’t happen as often or as fast, they still happen. There are several Facebook advertising changes on tap for 2014. Here is what you need to know:
1. Say BUH-BYE to Sponsored Stories
These have been up for elimination for some time now. This change comes about as Facebook simplifies their ad process, and it might have something to do with a certain lawsuit launched by outraged Facebook users who did not like their pictures used in ads without compensation.
2. We will get more targeting options
According to InsideFacebook, “The overall concept of targeting has been redefined as having four key areas (locations, demographics, interests, behaviors). This organization creates more flexibility and precision in audience creation in terms of the and/or logic between groups. Example: historically, if you selected “Parents” “Photography” “Photo uploader” within interests, the audience constructed was People who are Parents OR interested in Photography OR people who upload [many] Photos. However, the intended audience was: “Parents, who are interested in photography and upload pictures”. Now, the specific audience will be targeted as intended.”
3. No more domain sponsored stories
If you’re not familiar with domain sponsored stories, these are ads that are not connected to your Facebook page. These promote website interaction, rather than Facebook interaction. For example, a domain sponsored story would promote an action one of your friends took on a website – commenting, etc.
4. Ad image cropping
According to Facebook, “Facebook has added the option to specify image crops through the Ads API. Image crops are used to describe the way that an image should be displayed in each aspect ratio of the different ad placements. During rendering, the image will be cropped according to the specifications given and if no specification is provided for a certain aspect ratio, the image will be displayed in the default way.” This will be nice – we get some control over how our images look in the various ad placements on Facebook.
5. Geographic Targeting
You can (or will be able to, if you can’t already) combine zip codes, states and countries. Before you had to choose just one. Now you can create custom combinations. You can now exclude locations, too. For example, I can select the state of Georgia but exclude Atlanta.
I am excited about these changes – some are definitely for the better. According to Facebook advertising strategist Jon Loomer, most of these will start in beta in February with actual rollout sometime by the end of the first quarter. Facebook already announced that Sponsored Stories will bow out on April 9, 2014.
Do any of these changes make you nervous or are you excited?