Facebook Puts New Face On Ads
June 7, 2013

Facebook Revamps Ad System To Be More Marketer And User Friendly

Peter Suciu for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online

Trying to make an advertisement seem more like “content” has become commonplace in the world of print media, where ads have long resembled articles, but the line has blurred increasingly online. In some cases, ads on social networks are created to make the paid content look more like user-generated content.

However, this hasn´t always been well received, and now the largest social network is looking to put a fresh face on its advertising offerings. Thursday, social media giant Facebook announced that it will work to make advertisements less obtrusive as part of an effort to improve the user experience, while at the same time helping advertisers get the most out of the ads.

“They are not just competing with other businesses. They are competing with life. People are getting married. People are having babies,” a Facebook spokesperson told the Telegraph on Thursday.

This move comes as Facebook has begun looking to eliminate some types of ads, simplify their system, and revive their revenue growth. The social network actually sold $5 billion in advertising last year, but advertisers have been vocal about the social media site´s collection of advertising offerings.

Wired reported this week that the number of Facebook ad units will fall from 37 to less than half that under their new system.  Advertising now accounts for 85 percent of Facebook´s revenue, but the company has faced a sharp slowdown since early last year.

Moreover, since Facebook´s high-profile IPO last year, the company has seen its stock prices fall. The social media company´s shares have actually declined by about 15 percent this year alone, while the Dow Jones industrial average has seen an overall rise of 14 percent. Thus Facebook is clearly looking to turn the tide in the revenue stream.

At a whiteboard event for the press at its Menlo Park headquarters, Facebook will demonstrate how it plans to streamline the ad process for marketers. These changes will start in the next few weeks but could take up to six months to fully implement. The goal is to help advertisers make choices that could include amassing fans, getting people to install apps or driving people to their physical stores. In general, the new ad system will reportedly help marketers determine the best type of ad to run.

“The No. 1 complaint of most advertisers was that it was too complicated to figure out which ads to use,” Andrew Bosworth, director of engineering and design for ads, told Forbes. “They´re saying, ℠We know what we want to accomplish, we want to know what tools to use.´”

While the social network could automatically suggest ad formats that it thinks best compliment its advertisers´ objectives, marketers will still be able to change the ad settings as desired. The social media giant is also expected to introduce video ads later this year, but there was no mention of these at Thursday´s event. It was previously reported that Facebook could look to make about $1million for each 15 second video ads — of which Facebook users would see no more than three of such ads per day.