New Ad Features: Facebook

Facebook, the world's largest social network now in its 12th year, continues to innovate new products for users and businesses alike to keep up with newer, competing networks.

Recently, Facebook has introduced up a number of new products focused with heavy focus on visual content. With new products launching so frequently, it can be difficult to keep up... so we've collected some of the biggest updates from the last few months. How many new features are you using for your brand?

Key trends of all the major updates:

  • Continuing shift towards video
  • Immersive/full bleed ad products
  • Live experience
  • Social commerce

360 degree video
Launch: Sept. '15
Key features: fully-immersive & interactive video experience for users

  • Compatible with virtual reality headsets; signals trend towards VR
  • Users control POV by moving device on mobile, or clicking/dragging on desktop
  • Initially limited to publishers only, but has now opened up to brands (AT&T, Samsung, etc.)

Live video
Launch: Dec. '15 (beta), Jan. '16 (iPhone/US only), Feb. '16 (Android/International)
Key features: allows users, brands, and publishers to share live video

  • Video is accompanied by a real-time stream of comments
  • Beta testing began with select publishers, but eventually released to all brands/users
  • Push notifications sent to subscribers when a video stream goes live

Facebook Shopping
Launch: Oct. '15 (US only)
Key features: allows full integration of online store into businesses' Facebook pages

  • App also collects products in a dedicated shopping space
  • Users can browse and purchase items without leaving the app
  • Mobile-focused experience with emphasis on on-the-go shopping

Sport Stadium
Launch: Jan. '16
Key features: provides users with real-time sports coverage & clips without a cable TV connection

  • Lets users chat with other fans as well as access commentary and analysis
  • Current coverage includes NCAA (basketball, football) and NFL with other sports coming soon

Launch: Feb. '16
Key features: immersive, full-screen mobile ad experience with full-bleed imagery

  • Users side swipe through carousel of multimedia content
  • Can be customized combination of images, GIFs, videos, text, and CTAs
  • Loads 10x faster than standard mobile web

Instant Articles
Launch: Oct. '15 (select publishers), April '16 (all publishers)
Key features: opens external articles within Facebook browser

  • Publishers can sell their own ad space within the article
  • 10x faster than standard mobile web
  • Uses standard & exisiting production tools like HTML & CSS feeds

Reaction Buttons
Launch: Feb. '16
Key features: allows users to accurately respond to posts with preset reactions

  • Reaction accessible by long-pressing the "like" button
  • Options include: sad, angry, wow, love and LOL
  • Provides valuable insight into content performance for publishers and brands

As more social networks crop up, giants like Facebook have to continutally shift and adapt to stay relevant. As one of the largest, most influential digital entities in the world, Facebook's recent developments keep do more than keep up with trends: they're blazing the trail in terms of video and shopping integrations.

Keep your eye out for further developments in 2016: future developments include a workplace communication service, ads in Messenger, and Uber/Lyft integration.