Facebook released a series of updates today to help small businesses create more visually engaging ads and manage more of their content and social activity on the go. Beginning next week, marketers will gain free access to millions of images in Shutterstock's library to use in Facebook's ad products.
Facebook struck a deal with Shutterstock to make the commercially licensed images available to marketers in a fully searchable database directly within its ad creation tool. Businesses can now also create multiple ads simultaneously with an updated image tool that allows users to upload multiple photos from their own library as well as Shutterstock's.
A few small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) tested the new tools prior to launch, but Facebook hasn't shared any early results or details about the types of ads Shutterstock images were used for during the trial.
"We see that ads with relevant photos get higher engagement on Facebook," a spokesperson tells ClickZ. "Businesses are passionate about what they do and spend all their time doing it. This is a way to help them market their business on Facebook without having to worry about spending extra time sourcing relevant and engaging images. That's what drove us to make this decision - we want to make everything as easy as possible and help them drive success through performance of their Facebook ads."
Big brands don't have much use for Shutterstock's image library, considering the massive archives of content and creative capabilities at their disposal. Often it's the local businesses that don't have that luxury.
"This tool is targeted to all brands and all types of businesses," notes Facebook. "Given many SMBs are strapped for time and resources, we'll likely see a high adoption of local businesses using Shutterstock images to develop creative and engaging ads on Facebook."
Facebook also updated the Android and iOS versions of its Pages Manager app to enable multiple photo uploads in a single post and add or edit administrators. The Android version will allow page administrators to tag people in comments while iOS users can now create new pages and events.
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Matt Kapko has been writing about mobile since 2006, before it became cool. Based in Long Beach, CA, he has covered mobile entertainment, digital media, marketing, and advertising for several business media outlets. A former editor and reporter for RCR Wireless News, paidContent, and iMedia Connection, Matt is a regular freelance reporter for ClickZ. You can follow Matt on Twitter at @MattKapko or drop him a line at email@example.com.
December 12, 2013
1:00pm ET / 10:00am PT