Facebook Ups Ad Features, More Controls For Advertisers

Over the next month, Facebook plans to add new features to its “dynamic” product ads, including cross-selling abilities and Audience Network availability.

“We’re expanding the capabilities [of dynamic products ads] to also help [advertisers] send targeted product ads outside of Facebook, as well as suggest related products that people might be interested in,” said Kelly Graziadei, director of ads product marketing.

Since its debut earlier this year, the dynamic product ads feature has let businesses show related products to Facebook users after they viewed a particular item, or added it to their shopping cart.

In addition, businesses will soon be able to show products to users who have purchased a similar or complimentary item.

Also, advertisers should soon have more flexibility in determining what constitutes a “related” item.

“It's up to you how you define your product categories, and this update gives you more control,” a Facebook spokesman says of the coming changes.

Advertisers will soon be able to optimize dynamic product ads for conversions. In other words, Facebook’s ad delivery system is promising to pinpoint people more likely to buy a particular product, and serve them relevant ads.

For Facebook, the changes are part of broader effort to establish itself as the perfect partner for retailers. To that end, the social giant recently rolled out Flightplan -- a self-serve ad tool that combines dynamic product ads and local awareness ads to promote locally-available products to people near a physical store.

The company also recently began inviting more retailers to sell their wares right in users’ News Feeds, and on their respective brand Pages. In partnership with retail software company Shopify, Facebook began giving select U.S. merchants the chance to try out a “Buy” button.

Earlier this year, Facebook also unveiled Product Ads -- a format for brands to show off multiple offerings, and in some cases, their entire inventory.

Despite its promise, however, social media has yet to carve out a significant share of the ecommerce market. In fact, social media channels -- including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest -- contributed just 1.7% of total e-commerce sales, last year, research firm Custora recently reported.

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