Advertisers reacted mostly with optimism today about the way Facebook intends to redesign the News Feed.
Overall, they see the separate new feeds for photos, music and friends — along with bigger images and video players — as attractive venues for advertising.
The bigger the palette, the more can be done with it.
But Facebook hasn't released all the details of how ads will be integrated into the new News Feed. Curiously, it's not yet clear whether advertisers will be able to choose which of the feeds their ads go into.
We got these reactions advertisers and close observers of Facebook's advertising business:
Morgan Stanley analyst Scott Devitt and his team told investors: Advertisers may benefit as more screen real estate will become available for News Feed, allowing in-stream ads to become larger and more engaging, similar to high-CPM "takeover" ads on other websites. Making feeds more consistent and content-specific should improve the News Feed experience, which could make users more tolerant of ads, enable new formats (e.g., video), boost ad loads, and allow content targeting. ... Ads that mimic organic posts could perform even better with the additional screen real estate.
Dan Slagen, svp/marketing, Nanigans: "We're excited about consistency from mobile to desktop, and we think it will generate a bit more time on-site (from users). Facebook has not released exactly how the new ad formats will work ... a whole new wave of testing (will be needed). It will be the advertisers that nail the visuals, that nail the creative, who will see the best results, right?"
Simon Mansell, CEO of TBG Digital: "Photos being much more prominent means it's even more important for brands to be serious about the production of quality imagery to deliver their message. It's like a return to print advertising as a discipline. The 'friends-only' feed could get a lot of the (user) volume, which may be a concern — but it does stop people getting upset with sponsored content appearing around their friends content. Stand-out will be harder for brands as a result but it's probably a better user experience. I guess Facebook is betting that this will improve overall usage and that will be better for revenue in the long run. The chronological view is interesting – as it removes the argument that their is an algorithm in between users and content.
Lucy Jacobs, COO of Spruce Media: "Today's change addresses Facebook's number one goal, to keep people engaged within the site. Ensuring relevant content is shown is key, since people might no longer know all their 'friends' on Facebook, so customization of the news feed is essential to reduce the noise to signal ratio within the news feed and ensure that users stay engaged.
Hussein Fazal, CEO of AdParlor: "Larger and more prominent images = better performance. We know that stories that have a large exciting image perform better than any other type of news feed item. We have seen this with organic page posts as well as with ads — image page post ads are often the most effective ad unit. With the news feed redesign, images are given more prominence. Larger images will result in higher click-through rates, a higher level of engagement, and better performance of organic and promoted posts. More user news feed engagement = more ads and better performance ads in the news feed = increased revenue for Facebook.
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