Facebook is looking to secure its domination of mobile advertising with a slick new format that allows users to interact with several layers of advertiser content without leaving Facebook’s app, according to Re/code, which first reported the news.
The new mobile ads, which are currently only being tested with a limited number of users, expand to a full screen format that includes a number of established features like auto-play video and image carousels. The ad initially appears as a simple post, but when the user taps on the ad it opens to the full screen format to allow them to interact with multiple pages of content, enabling advertisers to create much richer interactive experiences combining text, images and video.
In addition to giving advertisers tools to create more engaging, immersive environments for their messages, the new mobile ad format essentially serves as a dedicated microsite within Facebook’s app, keeping users within the Facebook universe instead of sending them to an external Web site.
According to Re/code, Facbeook is testing the new format with a handful of advertisers including Michael Kors, Gatorade, Mr. Porter and Carrefour Spain.
Elsewhere in its quest for mobile dominance, Facebook is introducing a new mobile assistant called M as part of its Messenger apps. Like Siri, Google Now, and Microsoft’s Cortana, M relies on artificial intelligence but also calls on real people, the “M trainers,” to help make sure every query gets a relevant answer.
Facebook is also looking into bringing casual games to Messenger, and in April it introduced free mobile video calling as part of mobile Messenger app. In March, Facebook introduced person-to-person payments, enabling users to send money to friends via Messenger.