Despite the party atmosphere of Cannes, Facebook is all business at the creativity festival, with several announcements for its mobile advertisers.
I’ve never been, but I’ve heard that the Cannes Lion International Festival of Creativity is the most fun business trip ever. It’s is so well-known for its party environment that Digiday wrote a helpful how-to guide advising festivalgoers not to pass out on the sidewalk or order their own magnums of rosé, and to try to leave the Gutter Bar at the respectable time of 5:30 a.m.
But while many people are partying on yachts while claiming to be technically at work, it’s unlikely that any of them work at Facebook.
The social media giant has the most mobile engagement of any platform, seeing more than 1 billion daily mobile users. With that in mind, Facebook made four announcements in Cannes yesterday:
1. Launching the Creative Hub
The idea behind this new product is that technology moves so quickly, it can be hard to keep up. All around the world, 40-something marketers are squinting at the Snapchat screen like, “Ugh, I know, right?”
With a simple interface and a guide to Facebook and Instagram ad formats, Creative Hub is designed to make it easy for users to sample different tools and features, and work together and experiment. For instance, there’s a collaborative area for marketers to preview, evaluate and showcase their creative. There are also options to create and preview mocks on mobile, as well as create preview URLs to share with stakeholders.
Built with the guidance of several agencies such as Ogilvy & Mather, McCann and Droga5, Creative Hub is currently testing and should be available to Facebook advertisers in the next few months.
2. Upgrading Canvas
We’re sensing a pattern with Facebook, which initially announced its Canvas ads, immersive mobile experiences that load 10 times faster than typical mobile sites, in Cannes last year. The product was launched globally in February and since then, people in more than 180 countries have spent about 52.5 million minutes – otherwise known as a century – viewing Canvas.
New updates will make it easier for marketers to design, create, share and learn from these ads. Canvas will have a new feed unit designed to increase engagement, while marketers will have more detailed metrics, such as clicks-per-component and dwell time (the average is about 31 seconds). The option to create Canvases for organic page posts will roll out today.
3. Adding Audience Insights API
Audience Insights API will give advertisers better insights into the audience they’re serving, using aggregated and anonymous demographics, psychographics, topic data and reports from Facebook IQ. Currently in beta, the feature is testing with brands like Mondelez and Anheuser-Busch InBev, and will be widely available early next year.
Mondelez used Audience Insights for Cadbury’s “Taste Like Joy Feels” campaign, analyzing people’s feelings toward chocolate at various times throughout the day. Brand recall was improved by 40 percent, according to Cadbury.
4. Improving slideshow ads
Another popular Facebook ad format is the slideshow, which allows businesses to create videos from static images. However, they load significantly faster than traditional videos, on account of using five times less data.
New features include the ability to create slideshow ads from mobile devices, audio and text overlay, and integration with Facebook’s Pages and Shutterstock photo libraries.
That focus on video isn’t to say photos aren’t doing well by Facebook. Instagram announced yesterday that its user base has doubled over the past two years. The platform now has more than 500 million monthly active users around the world, 300 million of whom use the app on a daily basis.
As it prepares for a 2017 IPO that could be the largest in the social media space since Facebook went public in 2012, all eyes are on Snapchat.
Facebook isn't just the world's largest social network. In the past two years, it has also become one of the world's most popular online destinations for consuming video content.
In 2015, Verizon purchased AOL for $4.4 billion. Now, the mega wireless carrier is leveraging its wireless network as part of a new ad offering called BrandBuilder by AOL.
It has been a very busy year for Instagram.