New month, new updates! Facebook is expanding its advertising capabilities within search and updating the specifications for newsfeed ads on mobile. Snapchat launched a new tool centered around creating ads from existing brand websites or apps. And Google is testing a new social network called Shoelace. Read on to find out more!

Facebook is Expanding Search Ads Availability

  • With the announcement in late 2018 that it would re-launch its search ads, Facebook has now significantly expanded the search ad option. For background, Facebook originally launched search ads back in 2012 but discontinued them shortly thereafter. This re-launched version is different than the initial offering but focuses on the same functionality, as TechCrunch noted last year:

“Advertisers will be able to extend their existing News Feed ads to the new “Search” placement through the Facebook Ads Manager, similar to how they’d pick Facebook Audience Network or Instagram. No video ads will be allowed, and search ads won’t appear on desktop. Marketplace search ads will appear on iOS and Android, while Facebook search ads are only testing on Android. For now, advertisers won’t pick specific keywords to advertise against, and instead may appear in search terms related to auto or retail topics.”

In 2016, Facebook noted the platform was facilitating over 2 billion searches per day. Because social media usage behaviors have changed over the last three years, utilizing this new ad placement could help broaden the reach of campaigns on Facebook. Unlike with Google, Bing or other SEM engines, brands are not bidding on specific keywords (at least for now). Instead, Facebook will serve ads to “search terms that have commercial intent, such as those related to e-commerce, retail and auto.”

  • What it means for brands: While this feature is focused on e-commerce and retail for now, depending on how the rollout occurs, creating ads within healthcare and pharmaceutical industry could be next. Whether it’s creating a search ad for an OTC product using the carousel format or using this feature in the city at a major medical meeting, the ability to create search ads can engage users searching on Facebook, leading to larger reach across Facebook campaigns and an additional, specific way to target an engaged audience.

Additional Resources: Marketing Land, Search Engine Journal

(via Social Media Today) 

Facebook is Updating Text and Aspect Ratios for Ads on Mobile

  • Facebook announced in a blog post that page posts and ads on mobile will be changing. The specifics, being rolled out on August 19, are as follows:
    • Fewer lines of primary text will show on mobile News Feed: Only three lines of primary text will show on mobile News Feed. After that, users will be prompted to click to view additional text.
    • Maximum media height for photos and videos will reduce to 4:5 on mobile News Feed: The tallest supported aspect ratio for images without links and for videos will be vertical (4:5). Media taller than 4:5 will be masked on mobile News Feed.

Before this new change, Facebook allowed up to seven lines of copy before it was truncated with the “See More” prompt, and the aspect ratio was larger (2:3).

  • What this means for brands: Facebook claims this update will help “improve consistency” of the mobile experience, but it points to a larger need in social media marketing: less is more. Organic posts and ads alike must be skimmable. When creating ads that will run on Facebook mobile, the message needs to be focused, concise and adaptable. For Click-To-Web disease awareness content, be sure to keep the copy short and include a strong call-to-action to drive users to the website where they can read more in-depth information.

Additional Resources: Digiday, Social Media Today

(via Facebook)

Snapchat Introduces Instant Create

  • Snapchat announced Instant Create, a new, simplified way for advertisers to create ads in three steps:
    • Step One: Select an objective of web visits, app installs or app visits
    • Step Two: Enter the business website
    • Step Three: Finalize targeting

For advertisers with limited resources, Instant Create provides a way for them to quickly get started, as the tool will pull photos or images from the websites or apps they have inputted to begin the creative process. Instant Create is now available for all users with a Snapchat Ads account.

  • What this means for brands: Snapchat continues to be an ideal social media platform for brands who want to target a younger demographic, as Gen Z and Millennials represent the majority of users. This new feature will allow brands that have few resources to create simple, effective Snapchat ads and make it easier to advertise on Snapchat. Whether a brand is doing disease awareness campaigns to drive people to their website or driving app installs for their mobile app, this new tool will facilitate both.

Additional Resources: TechCrunch, Marketing Land

(via TechCrunch)

Google is Developing a New Social Network, Shoelace

  • Google is testing the social networking waters again with a new app called Shoelace. A hyper-local social networking app, Shoelace aims to connect people based on shared interests in specific events and in-person activities. In short, Shoelace is encouraging people to spend less time on their phones and more time doing something in real life. With Shoelace, users are able to create “Loops,” which are listings for events that can be shared with others on the app. Currently, Shoelace is only available in New York and is invite-only. Depending on how successful this test is, a larger rollout could be next.
  • What it means for brands: While Google+ might not have worked out the way Google had hoped, this new app could lead to additional advertising opportunities if it is rolled out nationwide. Additionally, brands potentially could host events surrounding medical meetings or awareness days and find people who are interested in attending through the app. The fact that Google is focusing on encouraging people to meet off the app is part of a persisting trend: actual human interaction instead of simply communicating on an app. We will continue to monitor and report on updates on this new app as its offerings evolve.

Additional Resources: Gizmodo, Engadget

(via Engadget)

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