The world’s largest social network says the changes have been driven by calls from marketers to simplify its product offering.
The number of ad units it offers will be reduced from 27 to “fewer than half of that”. Those formats will also aim to be directly linked to business objectives, such as in-store sales, online conversations and app installs.
“Redundant” ad products being removed from the service include “Questions for Pages” and the Offer product because marketers have found asking questions for free or using a Page post link ad is a more effective way to get feedback or drive people to deals on their websites.
Facebook has also moved to integrated “the best of Sponsored Stories” in all ads by automatically adding social context to any ad format purchased. Previously marketers had to purchase a Sponsored Story unit in addition to other ads.
Ultimately, Facebook is also streamlining ads to make them look more consistent with other posts from users on the site. It hopes creating a “more consistent visual display” will help advertisers optimise their campaigns across desktop and mobile. The company has made strides in strengthening its mobile offering to advertisers and users in the past few months after admitting it was struggling to adapt to the mobile shift in its 2012 IPO.
Facebook product manager Fidji Simo says: “We think these updates will make it easier for [marketers] to do what they do best: reach the right groups of people with the right message and drive the results they care most about.”
All the announced changes will begin to roll out this month and are not understood to affect the costs of advertising on the site.
Facebook is estimated to earn $6.6bn in total revenue worldwide this year, up 30 per cent year on year, according to eMarketer. Some 85 per cent of this income will come from advertising.