Auto-Play Ads Coming to Facebook Audience Network

Facebook is now offering carousel ads and click-to-play ads to its Audience Network.

A year ago, Facebook created its Audience Network in order to offer their advertising features to better target ads to apps. Now, Facebook has introduced three new products to its lineup: mobile app carousel ads, which allow advertisers to feature up to five images in a single ad unit; dynamic video product ads that will retarget based on products users have visited in the website or app; and click-to-play video ads. 

While it’s obviously beneficial for developers to gain access to Facebook’s video advertising tools, the move could actually be a bid to show less ads in the newsfeed, says, Tessa Wegert, manager of marketing and communications for Enlighten, a digital marketing strategy agency.

“What’s key to note about this announcement is that it’s actually a step toward showing fewer ads on Facebook itself,” Wegert says. “Like most content publishers, Facebook has always faced some measure of consumer backlash to its ads. By upping revenue on its Audience Network, it can decrease the number of ads in the News Feed and offer a less cluttered, distracting, and invasive site experience.”

The new ad products could also be a challenge to rival Google ads products in light of Alphabet as well, according to Matt Rednor, chief executive (CEO) and founder of Decoded Advertising.

“Fewer ads is what they’re claiming, which would be nice, but that’s not the only reason,” Rednor says. “It makes Facebook’s ad network even more valuable as it helps grow their reach and influence beyond just the Facebook platform, providing another threat to Google’s digital ad supremacy.”

And while Facebook may be angling to show fewer ads, Wegert doesn’t think that should be taken as a sign that users are averse to video ads. 

“Everyone wondered how consumers would react to autoplay video ads on Facebook, but users are now watching billions of video streams a day,” she says. “With Twitter also running autoplay video now, it’s probably only a matter of time before consumers consider it status quo.”

The updates are available for both iOS and Android. 

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