It's very hard to reach consumers on Facebook without paying for it these days. Luckily, as organic reach has decreased drastically for businesses over the past couple years, Facebook has dramatically improved advertising over that time period, offering numerous tools, targeting options and tweaks.
The company just made two major announcements that address concerns some advertisers have still had with the platform, including viewability and measurement legitimacy. In a nutshell, Facebook is giving advertisers a new 100% in-view impression buying option and has partnered with a third-party analytics provider to bring in some independent insights so advertisers don't have to simply trust Facebook on data.
Will either of these announcements make you feel better about spending money on Facebook ads? Let us know what you think in the comments.
Facebook says the new announcements give advertisers more control over how they run and measure their ads.
As the company outlined earlier this year, it counts viewed impressions the moment an ad enters the screen of a desktop browser or mobile app (if an ad doesn't enter the screen it doesn't count it). Some advertisers don't like this approach, as they (understandably) don't necessarily want to pay for impressions in cases where the user didn't even see the entire ad.
Facebook still sees its original method as the best course of action, but recognizes that not all marketers agree, so it's giving them the option to buy 100% in-view impressions if they think that will work better for them.
"While it remains our belief that value is created for an advertiser as soon as an ad is in view, we also believe in offering advertisers control and flexibility over how they run their ads," the company says in a blog post.
Do you agree with the company on that or do you think the 100% in-view option is the right way to go? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Just to be clear, the 100% in-view impression means the entire ad - from top to bottom - has passed through the user's screen in the News Feed.
Advertisers will be able to buy all types of ads - text, photo, link, and video - with this option.
As mentioned, Facebook also announced a partnership so that advertisers don't have to take Facebook at its word when it comes to measurement and reporting. That partnership is with Moat, which has also partnered with Twitter on video viewability measurement in the past.
Facebook is integrating Moat's technology to verify its video ad views and view lengths so advertisers can gain "assurance" about their video ad campaign performance. The partnership will only cover video viewability for the time being, but eventually, it will expand to other types of ads. That includes 100% in-view impressions and the Instagram platform, which is now becoming available to all businesses and utilizes Facebook's targeting capabilities.
Unilever CMO Keith Weed has been critical of Facebook's handling of viewability and reporting in the past, but seems pleased with the new announcements.
He said, “Our position on this has been clear for some time: We need to get standards that help define viewability across different platforms and publishers, and those standards need to be third-party verified. It is very encouraging to see Facebook joining the ranks of digital media partners who are setting themselves apart – and this commitment continues the momentum. Our hope is that these steps will lead ultimately to 100% viewability through third party verification across the industry.”
GroupM Worldwide Chief Digital Officer Rob Norman said, "What we want is quite simple: Ads that are actually seen by real people. We want viewability standards across clients and publishers that honor that position, and we want publishers to be held accountable by independent third-parties. We’re very encouraged that Facebook is partnering with Moat as a third-party verified solution. We remain committed to view duration as well as verification of appearance of the ad in the viewable window and hope that all sellers will recognize and align on an appropriate measurement standard. Facebook’s scale moves the industry one step closer to the standards we’ve been seeking.”
Facebook doesn't say exactly when the 100% in-view buying option will be available, but just that it will be available soon. It promises to keep advertisers updated on the Facebook for Business site, but also says advertisers can talk to account reps about it further.
Are you pleased with Facebook's announcements? Do you feel better about advertising on Facebook now as a result? Let us know in the comments.