The ultimate paid media news roundup this year

It’s been an exciting time in the world of paid media with big developments on all the major platforms. Let’s start with Facebook.

New Facebook A/B testing feature

It just became a whole lot easier to determine the highest performing creative for your ads.

An update of Facebook’s split testing feature means you can run tests to determine your best performing ads.

Although this function has been around for a while, previously there was some potential audience overlap, making a true test difficult. Now though, Facebook will select users randomly and each user will only ever see one version of the creative.

The ultimate paid media news roundup this year

Facebook Stories begins testing ads

Although it got off to a slow start, Facebook Stories now reportedly has 150 million daily active users and has announced it’s going to start testing ads within it.

It’s already begun testing ads in the US, Mexico and Brazil.

Ads will take the form of 5 to 15 second videos that users will be able to skip. At the moment there’s no click-through option although Facebook plans to add this option in the future.

It’ll be interesting to see how this works for advertisers as they’ll be able to optimise between Facebook and Instagram Stories in the same ad set – ads on Instagram Stories can be extended to Facebook Stories and Facebook will automatically reformat ads on the news feed with borders and text at the bottom.

Advertisers will also be given access to more metrics on the performance of their Stories, hopefully to prove ROI.

Facebook testing influencer search engine for marketers

Facebook is also testing a new tool which will help marketers connect with social media creators.

Marketers will be able to search for creators based on the demographics of their audience and factors will include location, interests, gender, education history, life events, relationship status and much more.

The search engine will then display lists of creators showing how their audience matches the brand’s.

Initially Facebook will be focusing on lifestyle creators and brands.

Creators can opt in to participate in the test and set up a portfolio that includes their audience size, metrics and samples of branded content.

Advertisers can now sponsor publishers’ Moments on Twitter

Moments are a series of Tweets stitched together, similar to Facebook’s ‘Stories’ feature and advertisers can now sponsor the Moments of certain publishers, inserting their brand tweet into the Moments round up and also adding a branded cover image.

Twitter also gives the opportunity to promote the Moment to a specific audience, just like a promoted tweet to ensure the advertiser is reaching the correct people.

Moments also allows advertisers to create longer form content to tell interesting stories as it has a longer character count than 140 characters.

A new way for brands to sell on Instagram

Instagram has started testing ads that combine video and product catalogues which allow users to complete purchases whilst remaining on the platform.

‘Collection Campaigns’, as Instagram is calling them, have already been tested on Facebook and it’s hoped they’ll provide a new shopping experience for users as Instagram moves further into the e-commerce space.

The feature will allow advertisers to drive users to site to purchase through a different ad format and they’ll also have the ability to extend campaigns from Facebook to Instagram.

Collection Campaigns are only available to certain advertisers at the moment and it’s not yet known when it will be released to all users.

Instagram launches Carousel Ads in Stories

The carousel format – ads that include a mixture of videos and images – has come over from Facebook to Instagram stories.

This will allow advertisers to tell more of a story with several pieces of media… up to three, rather than just one.

Users can also interact with the ads in a similar way to other Instagram stories, by pausing and swiping backwards when they see something they like.

It should make for more engaging ad content as advertisers are given the opportunity to tell more of a story (with a small s!) with their content.

Snapchat

In April Snapchat launched shoppable lenses.

Initially, users couldn’t click through but are now able to put the lense on and it’ll allow advertiser to click through to a link to drive people through to purchase.

This means that, while initially lenses were used more for audience engagement and brand awareness, now they’re more traffic-driving.

Pinterest launches shoppable ads

In March Pinterest moved its shoppable ads out of testing and after trialling the feature first with big brands like Ikea, they’re now available to thousands of advertisers.

Ads pull detail automatically from an existing product feed and for each pin users will be able to click on each product featured which will then take them through to site.

This is a really exciting opportunity for advertisers in terms of driving traffic and purchases.

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