The site has characterized the test as experimental, as it tweaks ads to make them more social.
Facebook is currently testing ratings and reviews within ad units, a spokesperson for the social site has confirmed with ClickZ. First spotted yesterday by the blog AllFacebook.com, the test ads include Facebook's thumbs-up "Like" icon, a user rating between 1 and 5 stars, a short comment, and then the user's name. (See image below.)
The Palo Alto, CA-based Internet giant has been toying with the idea of making ads more social since introducing its open graph platform last April. Facebook spokesperson Annie Ta wouldn't comment about how long the ratings and reviews ads have been tested or whether they will be rolled out in the future. "This is a really small, experimental test, and we don’t have any further details to share at this time," Ta said, while briefly responding to a set of questions via e-mail.
At any rate, if the socially-bolstered ads do eventually become a mainstay on the site, it would certainly draw the interest of marketers. As has recently been the case in Facebook ads, the name in the ad would apparently always be a friend of the viewer. Therefore, seeing such a friend's rating and review of a product or service could in theory increase click-through rates.
Patrick Toland is U.S. manager director for TBG Digital, where he helps place Facebook.com ads for brands like JetBlue, EA Sports, and Dell. Toland said the test represents the social site's recently increased usage of the Like button, which began to appear in ads during May.
"I don't know exactly why they'd do it, but it'd seem to me that they would attempt to take a path to make their ads more social in nature," he said. "But I think it really goes back to [Facebook's] algorithm, and, 'How can I make my ads more consumer-friendly?'"
Lastly, Dennis Yu, the AllFacebook.com blogger who reported the test, offered an intriguing question in his post about the possible marketing allure of the ratings and reviews ad format. "If you’re a cosmetic surgeon with 500 fans of your page, what would you pay to be able to tell all the friends of those 500 people about the positive experience?"
Follow Christopher Heine on Twitter at @ChrisClickZ.
Join the Industry's Leading eCommerce & Direct Marketing Experts in Chicago
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 4 days and 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda and register by Friday, Oct 3 to take advantage of Early Bird Rates!
Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.
IBM Social Analytics: The Science Behind Social Media Marketing
80% of internet users say they prefer to connect with brands via Facebook. 65% of social media users say they use it to learn more about brands, products and services. Learn about how to find more about customers' attitudes, preferences and buying habits from what they say on social media channels.
An Introduction to Marketing Attribution: Selecting the Right Model for Search, Display & Social Advertising
If you're considering implementing a marketing attribution model to measure and optimize your programs, this paper is a great introduction. It also includes real-life tips from marketers who have successfully implemented attribution in their organizations.
September 23, 2014
September 30, 2014
1:00pm ET/10:00am PT
October 23, 2014
1:00pm ET/10:00am PT