June 18, 2013, 11:18 AM

Facebook revamps its ad units

The social network offers more tools for one type of ad and eliminates another.

Zak Stambor

Managing Editor

Lead Photo

Facebook Inc. is wasting little time in its drive, announced earlier this month, to simplify its advertising formats.

The social network yesterday said it would make changes to its Page Post Link ads—those are ads in the news feed that, when clicked, drive consumers off of Facebook—to make them easier to use and customize. The news feed is the first page a user sees when logging on to the social network.

Facebook increased the size of the ads, including the clickable area, while also enabling advertisers to upload any images to the ads. Facebook previously automatically featured a thumbnail image from the page the ad linked to. With the change, an advertiser whose ad links to a category page featuring dozens of T-shirts now can feature one particular T-shirt and also test several different images to see which produce the best results. 

Because marketers often want to tailor messages to specific groups of consumers, rather than having a Page Post Link ad appear to everyone who Likes their pages, the social network also added ad-creation tools to make that type of targeting easier, Facebook says. A marketer can create different ads for different segments. Previously an advertiser buying a Page Post Link ad had to select one of its existing posts to promote to a set number of consumers, based on its ad spend.

The goal, Facebook says, is to drive more off-site conversions and sales.

The social network also plans next month to eliminate Sponsored Results, its first foray into search ads. The ads, which enabled marketers to target consumers using Facebook’s search tool, appeared only in desktop search results pages, not on mobile search results.

“We've seen that most marketers were buying Sponsored Results to advertise their apps and games, and we already offer App Install ads and Page Post Link ads on desktop to achieve these same goals,” says a Facebook spokesman.

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