Facebook launches a tool to measure ad relevance

Facebook is to start showing brands the relevancy of their ads by measuring the positive and negative reactions to them by targeted users.

The company blog post, released yesterday (11 Feb) said that Facebook plans to produce relevance scores as a new metric on its ad platform, by calculating the positive and negative feedback an ad receives from its target audience.  The more positive interactions an ad receives, the higher the relevance score.

Positive reactions can be measured by video views or conversions, depending on the ad’s objective. If people are more inclined to hide or report ads, the scores will be lower.

The maximum relevance score is 10, and Facebook only scores an ad’s relevance after it has been served 500 times.

Facebook claims that this will help advertisers to lower the cost as advertisers can bid for ad space on the platform by showing high relevancy as well as price. Previously, transactions have mainly been based on price.

The new metric will also help brands to test creative options before running campaigns and help to optimise campaigns already in progress.

Space for Facebook’s advertising has become competitive, particularly after the platform cut the number of ads it serves to consumers by 65%. The brand’s earnings report shows that Facebook’s average price-per-ad rose by 335% in its final quarter of 2014.

Adriana Matyaskova, head of display at DigitasLBi told Marketing Week that the changes are a result of Facebook’s attempts to manage its inventory levels and create fewer but better ads.

Matyaskova said that the new measurement tool brings a “real-time” element to Facebook’s services that didn’t necessarily exist before, which means that brands will have to be more reactive in how they deliver content.

“The move forces advertisers to think about what they are producing more carefully as their work will become more labour intensive. In terms of benefits to marketers and lowering costs that remains to be seen, but I imagine it won’t make much of a difference,” adds Matyaskova.

Last month, during the platform’s quarterly earnings call, Sheryl Sandberg explained that Facebook plans to invest aggressively in measurement tools to reassure marketers of its value.

The relevancy measure is the second tool launched this year to aid marketers to understand the impact of their ads on the platform. In January, Facebook also launched  ‘conversion lift’, a product that aims to allow marketers to measure the sales impact of their campaigns.

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