Earlier last week, and with much anticipation (from me anyway), Facebook launched their new ad manager. I was lucky enough to get access to the beta, but I have to admit that I’m very disappointed with the new interface. Which is way worse than being angry, right?
According to Facebook, the new ad manager includes “in-line editing capabilities, improved navigation and search abilities”. I’ll admit that the in-line editing capabilities are a big step up from the previous interface, but adding a search box and the ability to edit multiple ads simultaneously just isn’t quite what I had in mind from this juggernaut.
I would love to see Facebook step it up and really take advantage of their potential, but at a minimum, the new interface leaves me wishing for more. For example:
- How about a simple “view status” filter? The interface is still messy and it would be nice to clean it up by being able to view active ads only.
- How about custom or trended stats without having to run a report? Or at least a “last month” and “month to date” option?
- How about an option to view CPC and cost in the campaign performance graph?
- I’m still waiting for conversion tracking.
I really don’t want to be a hater, as I wrote about Facebook’s ad manager being weak sauce back in May. But let’s be serious, the new ad manager is lamer than Facebook Lite and the changes made are so minimal that it’s not even worth having a beta.
This flimsy launch is just the latest in a string of issues that I feel will contribute to the inevitable downward spiral so typical in the world of social media. Last month, the NY Times came out with a thought provoking article surrounding Facebook’s shelf life. Apparently there are a small but growing number of users jumping ship for a variety of reasons but namely, privacy concerns. The article examines how the novelty has worn off now that everyone has “been found”, and that users are increasingly concerned about privacy, (which they are regularly reminded about by ads that are getting eerily more and more personal). Like the recent Gmail one that dynamically inserted my first name in the headline and plastered it to the sidebar of my FB profile page.
MySpace followed the same trend: got creepy and spammy and users started to feel violated. And so they moved on to Facebook, a space that – at the time – was much more private.
And so between the lame new ad manager, growing privacy concerns and historical trends the way I see it, Facebook is heading towards a much less engaged audience within the next year. Unless they hurry up and bring it, Zuckerberg will be forced to reactively deal with the repercussions.
Rachel Andersen works for the Portland based SEM agency Anvil Media, Inc. She has expertise in all aspects of search engine marketing and specializes in SEO for large sites. Andersen has been responsible for the development and execution of dozens of search and social marketing campaigns over her time spent with Anvil.