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Facebook Testing Ads In Groups

New Group Ads Trial Acts As Extension Of News Feed Ads

It was always going to happen, wasn’t it?

Wherever the attention shifts ads follow.

Facebook is reportedly trying out ad placements it the Groups tab, where users can view content from all the Groups they belong to, according to Ad Week.

The test includes a limited number of advertisers who will have access to the new inventory within Ads Manager, making it possible for them to extend mobile News Feed campaigns to Groups.

Although, those organisations cannot yet target people based on specific groups they belong to, which is a shame.

In some ways, the ads sound somewhat reminiscent of Facebook’s new search ads or Instagram Explore ads, in that the test is simply a placement extension of News Feed ads.

Rather than a smart new ad opportunity, per se, with unique characteristics.

Same Same, But Different?

The ad format is similar to News Feed ads in terms of headline, image and text, with only single-image ads being tested as of now.

For marketers, the reach, offsite conversions and link click objectives are being supported during the trial.

Facebook Product manager Melisa Tokmak, via Ad Week:

“We’re running a small test to place ads in the groups tab and will evaluate whether these ads are beneficial for people and businesses before deciding whether to expand it further.”

Facebook claims there are tens of millions of active Groups on Facebook and more than 400 million users that belong to a Group.

Groups have been on the up in Facebook since 2017, with the pendulum well and truly swinging towards them at Facebook F8 in May this year. With Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, stating in his keynote that “Groups are at the heart of the experience.”

Facebook’s new product redesign, FB5, which launched in May (the desktop version is still rolling out) physically and visibly gives Groups centre stage in the new design.

Facebook’s Expanding Group Feature Set

As part of the new design, when a user opens the Groups tab, they see a personalised feed of activity from the Groups they belong to and a discovery tool that recommends Groups based on the user’s interest.

Although, based on the recommendations I get, this clearly must be a work in progress. Or maybe, I need to get over it and just admit my love of the Kardashians?

Facebook is also inserting Group recommendations in other areas of the app, including Marketplace, Today In, the Gaming tab and Facebook Watch.

On top of this, and perhaps more interestingly for marketers, there will be new features for Groups based on a Groups’ category, for example:

  • Through new Health Support groups, members can post questions and share information without their name appearing on a post
  • Job groups will have a new template for employers to post openings, and easier ways for job seekers to message the employer and apply directly through Facebook

There is also further functionality in the pipeline for retail centric groups, and gaming, amongst others.

Whilst this is an early trial, the chances of there not being ads, at some point, is slim.Therefore, for marketers baulking at the idea of creating Groups, you’ll most likely have the choice of going down the community management path or the paid route.

Lest we forget, organically reaching audiences via social channels is never truly free, since community management can be highly labour intensive, for often uncertain, or difficult to prove results.

Let us know if and when you see them in Ad Manager!

 

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