Facebook plans to launch a new ad unit tomorrow, called the “comment” ad unit, Fast Company reported.
The new ads are Facebook’s latest effort to make ads more social, but the social networking giant will have to wait to find out if users are more engaged, or just plain annoyed.
The idea for the comment ads was crowd sourced – not discovered in-house – and will aim to draw users in even more by asking them to enter responses and participate in the conversational ad format.
When users comment on the ad, their comments will appear in their friends’ newsfeeds, helping brands earn impressions. As users’ friends comment, those comments can be turned into sponsored stories, Geek.com reported . And although Facebook and agencies are hoping the idea is a hit with users, it’s not yet clear how users will react. There is also nothing that shows users will be able to ignore sponsored comments.
Facebook held a competition last year at AdExpo, and the comment ad, from Chicago ad agency Leo Burnett, won, according to Ad Age. Ten agencies submitted about 100 ideas, which were whittled down to the best five and voted on by a panel. Leo Burnett will have exclusive use of it for two months, and then Facebook will open it up to other advertisers.
To see how well the new formats perform in the market, the social networking site will soon launch an another competition to measure the user interactivity, according to Fast Company
This new ad feature will be offered to premium accounts only, according to a report by the Huffington Post.
The company also plans to create a 12-person “client council” made up of representatives from some of the biggest ad agencies that will meet four times each year and rotate membership year to year.
With Facebook showcasing ad products, the client council aims to receive feedback on ad improvements and help advise on marketing and advertising on its platform with Coca-Cola and advertising network McCann, which was the first to join, according to MarketingWeek.co.uk.
“Unlike in other advertising, we’re not telling people how to think about the brand,” Leo Burnett’s chief innovation officer, Mark Renshaw told AdAge. “We’re just asking them to participate in the conversation.”
According to another report by MarketingWeek.co.uk, the social networking site also plans to build an audience insight team to help brands measure the results of their social media activity without obsessing over “fans” and “likes.”
“Measuring clicks is an old display model. We need to measure awareness, affinity and purchase intent,” Carolyn Everson, Facebook vice president of global marketing solutions, told delegates at Cannes Lion.
In January, Facebook introduced Sponsored Stories, which shows user interaction with brands in the form of check-ins and “likes” in the right-hand ad column. Facebook’s latest announcement comes in the same week as Twitter executives shared plans to include Promoted Tweets in users’ timelines and LinkedIn announced new ad units that include mentions of users’ follows and recommendations, Mashable noted.