Platform News March 2019

Posted on March 11, 2019

Besides new features on Facebook and Instagram, advertisers can also enjoy updates from Snapchat, Twitter, LinkedIn and Reddit. Read more about the latest features on social media platforms.


Story Ads became available for Facebook Messenger: Facebook has been implementing Ads within Stories of all their platforms. Now, besides Facebook and Instagram Stories, it is possible to run ads within Messenger Stories. Currently, this placement is not available as a standalone placement and it is necessary to also select Instagram Stories or Facebook Feed. The placement does not yet support all features of Story Ads as on other placements, but it will keep developing. At the moment Messenger Stories support the objectives Conversions or App Installs. By choosing automatic placement, Messenger Stories should already be selected. For further information, you can click here.

Facebook will remove ad set budgets: Starting in September, new and existing campaigns will be migrated to Facebook’s automated campaign budget allocation system that optimizes campaign budget across an advertiser’s ad sets. This means Facebook advertisers will no longer be able to define budgets on ad set level. With campaign budget optimization, advertisers can set one central campaign budget to optimize across all ad sets and continuously distribute budget to the top-performing ad sets automatically. It will be available for every campaign objective. In addition to setting a daily or lifetime campaign budget amount, advertisers can set bid caps and spend limits for ad sets – desired, non-guaranteed minimums and/or guaranteed maximums.

Facebook launched income targeting in the US: Facebook added a new feature for targeting - household income by US ZIP code. This new feature allows marketers to integrate income demographics to their marketing strategies and target relevant ads to US Facebook users more effectively in the US. Advertisers can choose between four income levels that were built based on users’ average household income and are represented in percentages: top 5% of ZIP codes, top 10%, top 10-25%, and top 25-50%. This means, the top 5% do not represent the top 5% of households in the US, but the top 5% of US ZIP codes when ordered by average household income. Facebook also announced that they built these audiences with just publicly available data. With esome, advertisers can target users based on their household income from ZIP code in Germany. Advertisers can choose for targeting users with a net income in three ranges, lower than €2,500, €2,500 to €4,500 and higher than €4,500.

Changes to “Why am I seeing this” explanation: Throughout 2018, Facebook introduced several changes to Custom Audiences from a customer file focused on accountability and transparency - including the introduction of new requirements for Custom Audiences built from a customer file. Following last year's commitment to continue improving transparency on ads targeting, the platform will surface additional information to help people better understand why they are seeing certain ads when Custom Audiences are used. Specifically, they will update the “Why am I seeing this?” explanation that can be accessed from the top-right of any Facebook ad. When a shared Custom Audience from a customer file is used, the “Why am I seeing this?” explanation will surface the name of the business that uploaded the users’ information to Facebook and highlight any Custom Audience sharing that may have taken place. This will include involvement from agencies, FMPs, or other partners. The Custom Audience Terms will remain unchanged.


Rollout of Instagram Carousel Story Ads: The reach of Stories has been increasing steadily and half of Instagram’s active users use Stories every day. In October 2018, our client Opel was one of the first clients globally to test Carousel Ads for Stories during the beta phase. For its Opel ADAM campaign the new format led to a significant uplift in contest registrations and a cost per registration of only €2.04 (Case study). Now, Instagram rolled out Carousel Ads within Stories to all ad accounts. The platform offers two different types: Unprompted and Prompted Carousel Ads. When choosing Unprompted Carousel Ads, up to three cards will be automatically displayed. They are only available for full screen creatives and as a standalone placement on Instagram. After the first card of a Prompted Carousel Ad is displayed, people can tap a “Keep Watching” button to see further cards, a max. of 10. Prompted Carousel Ads are available within Placement Optimization or as a standalone format within Instagram Stories and only for non-vertical feed creatives.


Twitter Single Destination Carousel Ad now available in Alpha phase: Twitter is currently testing a new ad format with esome. As one of five global partners, esome can use the new Single Destination Carousel Ad through Twitter’s API. The new format is pretty similar to Facebook's Carousel Ad offering more creative space to showcase different products, highlight specific details, or tell a story across the cards. The format allows advertisers to show up to six images within a single ad unit linking to a single external destination. Campaigns can be optimized for app installs or Website Clicks. The feature is still in the Alpha phase, but now open for every client interested in driving interaction. The only criteria for test campaigns is a minimum booking volume of $12,500. First client tests showed outstanding results, e.g. a 58% lower CPC and an increase of CTR by 66% for an industrial client.

Twitter will shut down the possibility to advertise without a handle: Soon, it will be necessary to have a Twitter account/handle to advertise on the platform. As there is no official announcement to this update, it is not yet clear when the change will take place. If advertisers plan handleless campaigns in the future, they should keep in mind, that the feature might only be available for a limited time.


Snapchat will introduce Lenses via Reach and Frequency: Snapchat announced that by the 4th of March they will launch Lenses via Reach and Frequency buying in Germany. For the feature, an IO booking is not required anymore, but a reserved buy via the Ads Manager. There is no minimum budget needed and the runtime and targeting are flexible. In order to use this feature, the reach should be at least 500k users and the placement will be within the Lens Carousel.


LinkedIn started to test a video live streaming service: After the fast adoption of videos on LinkedIn, the platform started to test a streaming service called LinkedIn Live. It is now in a beta stage and available via invite-only to selected US users. On LinkedIn Live, the platform is putting a focus on interactive live video content. It is not yet clear if every user will be able to stream, but the initial idea is to broadcast live events such as conferences, company announcements, awards ceremonies, Q&As led by mentors and other similar events. We will keep you up to date if the feature becomes available for paid media.


Cost-per-Click Ads available on Reddit: Reddit has announced that they will introduce Cost-per-Click Ads. The ad format will be available via Reddit’s ad dashboard and will complement the platform’s ad portfolio of Cost-per-Impression and Cost-per-View Ads. CPC Ads will allow advertisers to run direct response campaigns on the newly redesigned website across desktop and mobile. They will be delivered as a Link or Promoted Post which can also include videos. Ads will be billed on a click base, but can be optimized for Reach, Video Views, Traffic and Conversions.

Introduction of App Install Ads to Reddit: With the launch of CPC Ads, the platform also included App Install campaign objectives to the format, which is especially interesting for mobile-first advertisers who want to increase their app store visits and downloads, because ads directly link to the app store. Advertisers pay only for the ads that convert to an app store visit and they must bid on CPC. In addition to the App Install Ads, Reddit announced that advertisers can track and monitor impressions and click data in their attribution provider´s dashboard. For this, Reddit added seven attribution tracking platforms such as Adjust, Tune or Appsflyer. Along with this update, advertisers are able to track eight different conversion events like View Content, Add to Cart or Purchase. Further, Reddit added the possibility for attribution measurement to filter into one-day, seven-days or 28-days.

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