In an announcement made yesterday on the Facebook For Business blog a new look for Facebook sidebar ads was revealed, with a design that appears to be more consistent with News Feed ads.
What Does This Mean For Marketers?
For marketers it’s important to note the new ads use the same proportions as desktop News Feed ads, which means they will be larger than the current sidebar ads. Facebook recommends the following in regards to ad sizes:
For all ads, the best size image to upload is 1200×627 pixels, and we recommend a minimum width of 600 pixels for images appearing in News Feed.
There will be fewer ad spots as a result of the increased size, which could potentially mean increased costs but that has not yet been confirmed.
Early tests have shown engagement to be up to three times higher among users exposed to the new design, which means better click-through rates.
Since sidebar ads are now the same size as News Feed ads, marketers will no longer have to choose separate images for the News Feed and sidebar.
This new ad option will be available to some users later this month, with all users being rolled over later this year. In the meantime, the old ad units will still be supported.
Early impressions so far among marketers are highly positive, saying the new design looks a lot more like something you would expect to see 2014. Facebook hasn’t updated the design of their sidebar ads in a long time, and few can argue they are beginning to show their age.
I suspect this change will be welcomed by many, provided the costs to run one of these new ads isn’t significantly higher. Then again, if the click-through rates are better, maybe they would be worth a higher cost?