Platform News October 2018

Posted on October 15, 2018

Facebook rolled out Facebook Watch and Story Ads, Xing added further targeting options and Youtube launched Vertical Ads - A lot has happened on the platforms over the past month. Read more about the latest features on Facebook & Co.


Global rollout of Facebook Watch: One year ago, Facebook launched its video content platform Watch in the US. It gives users a place within Facebook to find shows and video creators they like. And users can start a conversation with friends, other fans or even creators about the video content. In the US, more than 50 million people are using Watch every month for at least one minute. Now, Facebook made Watch available worldwide. The new platform is not just interesting for users, but also for creators and publishers who can monetize their content. Along with the global rollout, Facebook launched Ad Breaks in many countries including Germany. Pages with more than 30,000 1-minute views over the past two months and 10,000+ Facebook followers meeting the platform’s Monetization Standards are eligible to the monetization opportunity. Ad Breaks include mid-roll and pre-roll formats as well as image ads directly below the video where advertisers can benefit from high completion rates.

Story Ads have been rolled out globally: More than 150M people are using Facebook Stories daily, which proofs that the number of users who are creating and consuming the content across the Facebook family of apps and services continues to grow. These users can be reached with Facebook Story Ads. Facebook even predicts Story posts to surpass the number of Feed posts in 2019. The ad format has already been available for all esome clients via our API and was now announced to be rolled out globally in the coming months. It supports Single Video, Single Image, and Slideshow ad formats. The full-screen, vertical environment can be used with all seven objectives that Instagram Stories support such as Brand Awareness, Conversion, etc.

Facebook started to slowly roll out access to its pixel for Facebook Groups: Marketers can implement the Facebook pixel and standard events to understand how posts in Groups drive actions on their website. This allows them to track user behavior after clicking on a post and to attribute whether a post resulted in a pixel-detected lead or purchase. The respective results will be shown in the Group Insights section and are not related to the paid advertising results that are indicated in the Events and Ads Manager. Thereby, the feature increases the relevance of Groups for advertisers.

Facebook expanded the functionalities of Flight Ads (Dynamic Ads for Travel): The new prospecting features make advertising on the platform more relevant to people interested in travel and enable airlines to reach potential travelers based on their visits of flight-related Facebook Pages, websites and apps. Previously, airlines could use Flight Ads to dynamically retarget customers who had visited their website or app searching for flights. Now, they can reach more people who have expressed interest in travel. For example, people who are looking for holiday trips to Mexico by browsing several airline sites and flight pricing apps can now be reached with tailored ads promoting relevant flight routes. Further, travelers that visit a travel-related Facebook Page, but have not yet chosen a destination may see an ad to visit an airline’s website. There will also be a new option for users to opt out of any Flight AFlight Add they see. The ad format expansions will be rolled out globally during the next weeks to Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network.

Brand Lift Studies in self-service will be launched soon: Advertisers will benefit from a quicker setup of a Brand Lift Study since the coordination with a Facebook client partner is not necessary anymore. The question catalog has been reduced to the most important questions and reportings in the test and learn interface as well as the real time observation are the greatest benefits. The test is first limited to campaigns targeting the US and Canada, but the rollout to all countries will likely happen this year.

Facebook introduced further objectives for Lead Ads: Previously, it was only possible to book Lead Ads with the objective Lead Generation while the algorithm focused to deliver the Ad to users who were most likely to generate a lead. In June, Facebook started to allow advertisers to book Lead Ads in combination with further objectives, such as Brand Awareness, Reach and Traffic. Now, the feature has been rolled out to all ad accounts. It can be especially interesting for clients who want to combine their branding and direct response marketing campaigns. So, if you are using Lead Ads with, e.g. Reach objective, it is recommended to combine it with a Canvas.


LinkedIn introduced Dynamic Ads in its self-service tool: Dynamic Ads on LinkedIn cannot be compared to the dynamic retargeting products of other social media platforms. Advertisers can customize them with the publicly available information from LinkedIn member profiles, like name or company. As a result, Dynamic Ads help advertisers deliver more personalized ads at scale and have shown up to 2X the click-through rate of traditional display ads. Dynamic Ads work for different steps along the marketing funnel: to drive brand awareness, “Follower Ads” promote a Company or Showcase page to help brands build a community. If advertisers want to drive traffic and website conversions, they can use “Spotlight Ads” to highlight a product, service or event. For now, Dynamic Ads can be delivered to users on desktop only. The product should be already available to all marketers in the campaign manager.


XING launched Lead Ads and new targeting options: XING expanded the capabilities of its Sponsored Posts with a new ad format that is dedicated to the generation of short leads: Lead Ads let advertisers enrich their formats with individual forms that ask users to enter their data. If applicable, XING uses already available profile data to prefill the fields, so that users can effortless subscribe to a newsletter or request an offer. Lead Ads are now available in XING’s Business Manager as an Alpha feature for all esome clients. Additionally, XING added further targeting options. The new keyword targeting allows a targeting for job title and skills. Further, it is now possible to add a regional targeting to XING campaigns. If you are interested in being a first mover using the new ad format or targetings, simply approach your individual contact person at esome.


YouTube officially launched Vertical Ads: Because most of its watch time happens on mobile devices (more than 70%), YouTube launched Vertical Ads as a new mobile-friendly ad format. According to Google, users have a natural intent to hold their devices in portrait mode. That is why Vertical Ads as True View format adapt to this behavior, offering a larger canvas to advertisers. They cover three quarters of the screen, so they appear much larger than horizontal videos on initial ad impression. They even expand to full screen if the user clicks the full screen button. You can find more technical specs and best practices here.

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