Facebook Reveals New Ads For Instant Articles

Publishers that have joined Facebook’s Instant Articles platform are getting access to a variety of new advertising formats to monetize their content, unveiled by the social network in a blog post this week.

The new options for publishers that sell ads directly include larger mobile display ads, allowing them to reuse more of their direct sold creative, while members of the Facebook Audience Network can now offer advertisers video and carousel formats.

Publishers that sell ads directly themselves can now repurpose more of these ads for Instant Articles by choosing from a number of in-stream ad formats optimized for mobile, with aspect ratios ranging from 2:1 (a small horizontal unit) to 2:3 (a large vertical unit). The new formats are intended to provide greater flexibility, including a variety of custom and premium ad formats.

Also, Facebook is bringing video and carousel ad formats to publishers in the Audience Network, which allows members to extend ad campaigns beyond Facebook to other mobile apps through custom and lookalike audiences. The video and carousel ads are available for both iOS and Android.

In one early implementation cited by Facebook, Vox Media is using the new, flexible ad formats to bring ads originally created for directly sold campaigns on its various mobile Web sites to Instant Articles.

These are the latest in a series of new offerings around Instant Articles.

For example, Facebook has also increased the number of ads allowed per each article and is testing new native call-to-action features in Instant Articles. It also rolled out a new feature allowing users to send each other links to Instant Articles in its popular Messenger function.

The new ad and sharing options are part of a challenging balancing act for Facebook, which is wooing publishers to bolster its content offerings, while also seeking to preserve overall user experience. On the negative side (for publishers, at least) it began reducing the amount of publisher content users see in their news feeds, with a new system prioritizing personal content over news and information.
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