"Big Facebook Reveal" Actually IS Pretty Big News!

By Carrie Albright | @Albright_C | Associate Director of Services at Hanapin Marketing

Facebook has rolled out an improved News Feed that will most certainly persuade you and your clients to give Facebook ads a shot. Yesterday The Man himself, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, led a presentation about the new News Feed that Facebook has spent months designing.  The three big ticket items involve standardizing the user interface for all devices, improving image quality in photos, videos, articles, etc, and of course, more and better opportunities for ads.

  • Layout of the News Feed: Clearly, this is the highlight Facebook was so excited to share. The new feed will have less clutter and a clearer view of updates, images, and information. This includes your friends as well as people and brands you’ve liked.The new News Feed will resemble something like this:

Screen shot 2013-03-08 at 9.22.00 AM

  • Device sync: They get that people are on all sorts of mobile devices. You want to “check in” when you get to the hottest restaurant in town, or see if your ex is attending a concert you’re waiting to get into. You want to be connected regardless of the location of your laptop or desktop and with phones and tablets, you can. Facebook has finally created a UI that will be identical across all, yes all, mobile devices.  Here’s a little glimpse at how they’ll look:

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Screen shot 2013-03-08 at 7.44.05 AM

Pretty much the same between devices! Well played, FB.

  • Image quality: Facebook has surveyed its users and gleaned that they love the News Feed feature more than any other aspect of the site. It makes sense that you look forward to reading what your friends are doing, seeing photos of that amazing trip your coworker just took, or reading that awesome LifeHack article your cousin shared.  And part of this experience is the quality of the images you’re interacting with. The images and rich media found in the News Feed will not only be bigger, but brighter and clearer, too. Here’s a comparison of how images will change with a before/after example:

Screen shot 2013-03-08 at 8.13.04 AM OR

Screen shot 2013-03-08 at 8.11.52 AM

How does this affect your clients?
This is what they’ve been waiting for. Sponsored stories, sponsored display ads, and targeted display ads will have improved image clarity and slightly wider margins for images along the right side of the page. Zuckerberg shared during his press conf yesterday that photo images make up some 50% of the New Feed. As your client’s sponsored stories are intermixed into this feed, advertisers will have the perfect opportunity to appeal to their targeted audience. They may also have more opportunities to advertise, as the renovated News Feed UI is rumored to contain additional ad slots, some of which would stay in the right hand column while users scroll down the page. More slots and improved imaging in sponsored stories equals better odds that your ads will show, receive clicks, and all at a potentially lower price as placements abound. Better image clarity means more bang for your buck when users are looking at your ad in the newly improved interface. And all this excitement about Facebook’s major facelift (M-Zuck sent the press conference invites months in advance) means now is the time to get your ads on the pages.

Lingering questions

Can we get our ads to appear in the specific feeds by category, such as select pages, photos, or music? M. Zuck “hasn’t made a final decision” yet, but this reporter thinks that allowing sponsored content to proliferate throughout Facebook is the path we’re already halfway down. As these transitions begin to take place, there are certain to be many tests for ad placements and frequencies.

How do you begin this journey?

Better yet, how do you appeal to your clients with this opportunity? Start with a sample run. You can take a quick tour through the new look of Facebook right now, and you can also get on the list to upgrade your [client’s] account.

The better your client understands how he or she can use product images, logos, or generally enticing image ads , the more likely they will be to put give this opportunity a try!