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This article was published on April 9, 2014

Facebook unveils larger, but fewer right-hand column ads rolling out ‘in the coming months’

Facebook unveils larger, but fewer right-hand column ads rolling out ‘in the coming months’

Facebook today unveiled a new look for ads in the right-hand column: they will be larger, but there will be fewer of them. The company says it plans to roll out these new ads “in the coming months.”

Facebook claims the new format will make right-hand column ads “more visually consistent with the ads that appear in News Feed” as they will have the same proportions. At the same time, the company is hoping that this change will offer advertisers “a simpler way to create ads and an enhanced creative canvas” on the right-hand column of the desktop site.


More specifically, Facebook is making three promises for this new advertising push:

  • A better experience for people: The new look of the ads, along with their new distribution, is intended to offer a better ad experience on Facebook. In early tests Facebook claims to have seen increased engagement — up to 3X more — from people seeing the new design.
  • A simpler ad product: Because the updated ads mirror the overall shape of desktop News Feed ads, marketers will no longer have to choose separate images for News Feed and right-hand column placements. They can now use the same image for both.
  • Availability: Some advertisers will begin seeing this new option later this month, with all advertisers being rolled over later this year. During this transition phase, we will support the old and new formats.

The first point is to be expected: bigger ads performing better is no surprise, and Facebook wouldn’t be tweaking them if it didn’t see positive results for its bottom line. Whether the actual 3X figure holds up will remain to be seen.

The second and third points fall neatly into Facebook’s overall plan of restructure and simplify its advertising platform. Yet as more and more of the company’s revenue comes from mobile, that’s where the real attention will be.

Top Image Credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images