After wooing publishers with the prospect of massive reach and faster content delivery, Facebook is sweetening the deal by allowing them to publish branded content on behalf of advertisers on its platform, the social network announced in a blog post this week.
The move will help publishers seeking to capitalize on native advertising while still enjoying the advantages of social distribution.
According to the Facebook blog post, the social network will allow publishers and individuals to distribute a range of content that specifically mentions a third-party product, brand, or sponsor in posts on their verified pages, including text, photos, videos, Instant Articles, links, 360-degree (virtual reality) videos, and live videos.
As part of the new initiative, Facebook is also unveiling a new tool for publishers and influencers to tag marketers and identify posts as branded content when they publish it -- a requirement for using the new ad feature.
Tagging the marketer will also allow them to access analytics and insights to see how the branded content is performing.
The blog post noted: “We know that many of our partners have existing partnership deals with marketers, and this update gives them the ability to extend their branded content business onto Facebook.”
Facebook also formulated some guidelines for marketers using branded content, including avoiding too much overtly commercial content, including things like persistent watermarks and pre-roll advertisements.
Further, cover photos and profile images shouldn’t contain products, brands, or sponsors, although product placement, end cards, and marketer logos in the content itself are permitted.
The social giant has unveiled a flurry of new products and capabilities as it seeks to expand its ecosystem and build engagement among users, publishers, and marketers.
Facebook also recently added more features to its lead-generation-based mobile ads, including video, customizable disclaimers and duplicate forms.
From newsletters to price quotes, lead ads are designed to streamline the process of signing up to receive information from advertisers. When users click on the ads, for instance, a form opens with their contact information already inserted -- as long as they gave Facebook that info beforehand.
Late in 2015, the social giant unveiled several new mobile-focused ad products to attract a greater share of TV monies.
Most notably, Facebook introduced a way for advertisers to plan, buy and measure its video ads using total rating points (TRP) -- a metric that should be very familiar to any TV buyers.
Earlier this week, Facebook revealed that it is rolling out several new Messenger features, including Links and Codes, which are simple ways for people to begin conversations with other people and businesses. Facebook also revealed plans to prominently place a video tab right in its Messenger app.
Facebook is also rolling out a number of new video-based features, including Video for Groups and Events, with which users can more easily share live video with particular friends and family. —with Gavin O'Malley