Platform News January 2019

Posted on January 15, 2019

For advertisers, there were exciting updates, expanded advertising opportunities and rollouts of new formats on the social networks at the beginning of the year. An overview of the latest features can be found here. 


Expansion of advertising options within Facebook Marketplace: Facebook will expand the advertising options within its virtual flea market. From mid-January the platform will roll out Ads for Marketplace on desktop as well as Lead Ads. Thereby, marketers receive further possibilities to place their products and services in a native shopping environment where users are looking for inspiration or already have a purchase intent.

Rollout of additional objectives for Click to WhatsApp Ads: Marketers can now create Facebook campaigns with Ads that click to WhatsApp with the traffic, conversions, and page post engagement objective in Ads Manager. Conversion in this context means an optimization for an event on an external website, where advertisers can link to from WhatsApp. This offers new opportunities to advertisers to combine their Facebook and WhatsApp marketing activities. Previously the format has only been available for the messages objective that optimizes for user engagement within the Facebook owned messenger app.

Increased enforcement of Facebook Ad Policies for shared audiences: Sometimes ad accounts get disabled if they do not follow the platform’s Ad Policies or Terms of Service. To keep Facebook safe for people and to increase accountability, on December 11th the platform started to remove the ability for advertisers to access or use audiences shared with them by an account that has been disabled. Additionally, any ad sets containing such audiences will be paused. Audiences from disabled ad accounts will still appear in the Audience and Ads Manager interface but will be identified as disabled. To make it easier for advertisers to choose targeting alternatives, Facebook will keep the disabled shared audiences visible in the ad set targeting until they will be removed.

Updates to Publisher Delivery Report and Brand Safety tab: Advertisers get more transparency on where their ads are running within the Facebook’s publisher placements. The Publisher Delivery Report now indicates impressions per publisher. This works for ads running within Audience Network, Instant Articles and In-Stream. Further, advertisers get new options to manage their block lists of publishers. This can be done within the new Brand Safety tab that was recently launched. Facebook increased the block list threshold to 500 pages on campaign level, 2,000 on Ad Account level and 2,000 on Business Manager level.

Facebook Stories launched for Groups and Events: The feature gives users new options to share content on the platform. Group members and Event participants can contribute to Stories that are only visible to other users being part of the closed circle. The feature could be especially fun for private parties like birthdays or weddings. This shared content can be moderated by Group or Event admins. To get an impression of the collaborative Event Stories, you can watch this short demo video. It is likely that Facebook opens the newly launched Story type as advertising inventory in the future. 

Long-Form videos are now available for Instagram Feed Ads: Longer videos with up to 120 seconds can now run within Video Ads on the Instagram Feed. Previously, only videos with 60 seconds or less were eligible to be delivered. Note that in contrast to Snapchat where longform video is a separate ad format, users will not need to click a CTA to watch the full video. We recommend to use shorter videos produced for social media with a length of approximately 15 seconds to attract the users’ attention


YouTube continued to roll out its Story feature to more creators: Creators with more than 10,000 subscribers are now eligible to use the new tool. YouTube Stories can be compared to what we already know from Snapchat and Instagram with a few exceptions. They last for seven days instead of 24 hours and are available to subscribers and non-subscribers. Stories appear in the “Up Next” sidebar of videos. Fans can interact with the content and leave comments or questions. Creators can publicly respond to them. The focus of YouTube Stories is more on community engagement and channel promotion than on day-to-day updates. It is not yet clear, when the feature will be available to all users and when there will be advertising options within the content. We keep you posted.

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