Earlier this week Facebook introduced a small change to ads that will have a huge impact. For all advertisements that link offsite Facebook now provides a short preview of the URL you will be sent to when clicking on the ad. For example, an ad for an Invisalign consultation sends you to this website http://www.marquisdentalspa.com/invisalign.html?utm_campaign=invisalign&utm_medium=525_99Month_V1A&utm_source=Female_20_29&utm_keyword=blank&utm_content=646-583-3989–a customized landing tab created specifically for the ad targeting )or so I assume from the content of the page and the “female 20 29” in the URL). The ad shows you the “marquisdental.com” portion of the URL.
What implications does this have for advertisers? Well our friend, Nick O’Neill of All Facebook did a great job explaining the impact of this change in his post “Facebook Ads Become Dramatically More Transparent.”
This change doesn’t affect the Facebook Ads dashboard used to create advertisements, but it does change the way ads are seen by users. I’m going to break down the three types of ads that now exist. (NOTE: I did my best to give these descriptive names so they’re not official terminology.)
1. Links to Content on Facebook
These ads link to content anywhere on the Facebook platform, but don’t allow for action directly within the ad. This ad allows you to create a custom title and won’t show a preview URL. If you want to send viewers to a Facebook Note, specific tab, group etc. these are the types of ads you would create. The ad below, for example, links to
3. Direct Action Ads
These ads link directly to a Facebook Page, Application or Event. They allow the viewer to take direct action right from the ad whether it be to “like” a Page or RSVP to an Event. In the case of the newly reformatted ads for Applications, viewers can see which of their friends used the application over the past 30 days. The title of these ads are automatically set to the name of the Page/Application/Event.
3. Ads Linking Offsite
These ads link offsite to a non-Facebook URL. These ads allow you to create a custom title and will show a shortened version of the URL that the ad links to. This helps ensure advertisers are honest about where they send viewers who click on the ad. This will hopefully reduce ad spam and increase trust among users, which would increase CTR.
This change is a huge step in the right direction to clear up confusion regarding the look and functionality of Facebook Ads. Are there any other changes you’d like to see made to the Facebook Ads platform? Leave us a comment and let us know what you’d like to see changed.