Facebook dumping half of ad units to eliminate redundancies

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Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) revealed it will sunset more than a dozen different advertising formats across its mobile and desktop platforms, taking steps to create a simpler, more consistent experience for both marketers and consumers.

Facebook currently supports 27 different ad units across its social networking ecosystem. Over the next six months, it will eliminate more than half of those options, at the same time "mapping all of our ads to the business objectives marketers care about--be it in-store sales, online conversions, app installs, etc.," said Facebook product manager Fidji Simo in a blog post. "Our vision is that over time, an advertiser can come to Facebook and tell us what they are trying to achieve, and our ads tools will automatically suggest the right combination of products to help them achieve it."

According to Simo, Facebook will focus on slashing redundancies, acknowledging that many of its ad units accomplish the same goals. "This includes removing the Questions product for Pages because marketers can simply ask a question in a post and get answers in comments," Simo explained. "It also means removing the online Offer product because marketers have found that using a Page post link ad is a more effective way to drive people to deals on their websites. We're going to start making these changes in July."

Facebook also will integrate sponsored stories in all ads. "Previously, to get the best social context available, advertisers had to purchase sponsored stories in addition to ads," Simo noted. "In the future, for example, when you create a Page post photo ad, we will automatically add social context to boost performance and eliminate the extra step of creating sponsored stories. We know social enhances ad resonance; people are influenced by this type of word-of-mouth marketing. Research from Nielsen, comScore and Datalogix shows that social context can drive awareness and return on ad spend, so we want to make it easier to add it to our ads. These changes will happen in the fall."

Facebook additionally vowed to create a more consistent visual identity across all ad units, whittling down the number of formats and simplifying the ad creation process for marketers who run multiple campaigns. "We think this will ultimately help advertisers optimize their campaigns across desktop and mobile," Simo said. "A consistent look and feel to our ads will also be a better overall experience for people on Facebook. These changes will start happening in late June."

Last month Facebook announced first-quarter revenues of $1.46 billion, an increase of 38 percent year-over-year. Advertising accounted for $1.25 billion of that total. Facebook added that 30 percent of its advertising revenue now comes from mobile, up from 23 percent in the previous quarter.

For more:
- read this Facebook Newsroom post

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