Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
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Facebook is rolling out interactive ads that will let potential customers “try on” products are coming to its News Feed. The new ad formats include polls, games and augmented-reality experiences.
Many brands are experimenting with ad formats that consumers can play with in hopes that they’re a more memorable and enjoyable experience for consumers. Mark D’Arcy, Facebook’s chief creative officer and VP of global business marketing, said at an event in New York Wednesday that the ads are a “shift from this monologue of marketing at people” to more of a conversation, if the viewer so wishes.
Facebook’s new in-feed “polling” ads.
The new formats come even after Facebook has signaled a stronger focus on Facebook Stories, the messages that disappear after 24 hours. Zuckerberg has said Stories will eventually “be bigger” than the platform’s News Feed, but these new ads aren’t available on Facebook Stories, at least not yet.
The updates come as Facebook is under scrutiny for its use of consumer data and for possible antitrust violations.
The new formats include video poll ads to Facebook’s mobile Feed. Polls for Instagram Stories have been available since earlier this year. The feature lets consumers pick an option within a video. For example, in a video for Tasty, the viewer can choose whether they want bacon or broccoli in their macaroni and cheese.
The company said brands and the platform won’t be able to see the choice by individual consumers, just how many chose a given option.
Facebook is also opening up its augmented reality ads to more advertisers with a new “AR ads” product that will launch in beta this fall.
Those ads let consumers try products using the camera. For instance, a consumer can try on shades of lipstick to see what it would look like on their face. That product will only be available on Facebook’s mobile feed.
Lastly, the company is expanding its “playable” ads to all advertisers. Facebook said brands like Vans and Uber India tested the product for their own games. Vans, for example, built a game that let people guide Vans founder Steve Van Doren down a mountain while collecting gifts. This product, too, will only be available in-feed and not in Stories.