At an event in New York today, Facebook launched its newest product for marketers: interactive mobile ads called Canvas, which it first announced back in September.
Canvas is an evolution of the earlier Carousel ads, which allowed users to swipe through multiple product or brand photos if they were interested in more information.
“The most awesome stage”
Last year, Facebook's VP of Design thought the TNW Conference main stage was the best she'd ever been on.
Canvas instead offers full-screen ads – basically complete mini websites designed around specific products. This includes slideshows, descriptions, videos and a scrollable, interactive interface.
The ads were designed to be fairly unobtrusive for the end user. They look virtually the same as regular ads while on your News Feed (other than a small ‘tap to open’ prompt), but when you click through, the full experience loads quickly. You can return to your News Feed by clicking on the ‘X’ on the top-left corner.
Facebook says test users have responded positively to the ads so far: users spend an average of 31 seconds per ad, and over 70 seconds for the best ones, which sounds like a lot for an ad. Overall 53 percent of users view more than half of the canvas.
Perhaps more importantly, the company is making sure the ads are easy to make. They’re built via a Web interface with a real-time live preview, and no coding or design skills are necessary. It’s worth noting the ads only work on Android and iOS – the company isn’t announcing any fancy ads for the Web interface so far.
Canvas is rolling out globally to any advertisers using Facebook’s Power Editor tool; interested marketers can try it out at canvas.facebook.com for free. For more on how Canvas works, check out Facebook’s announcement post below.
➤ Introducing Canvas, A Full-Screen Ad Experience Built for Bringing Brands and Products to Life on Mobile [Facebook for Business]