We know first hand how difficult Facebook Ads can be. Just when you think you’ve got the basics down, a new hurdle is thrown your way and it’s like starting all over again. This couldn’t be truer when Facebook updates its ads manager pretty much every week. So how are we to make sense of it all? 

Here at Blend Commerce, our marketing team has been researching, collecting and putting together a blog series where each month, we break down the important Facebook Ad updates you need to know. We’ve also got some that you should look out for in the future. 

Blend’s Key Takeaways

The biggest news of October is how Facebook is bringing in limits to the number of ads Business Pages can run or have in review at any one time. As Facebook explains the reason for this is that running too many ads at once can hurt performance. Generally, when a Page runs too many ads at the same time, fewer ads exit the learning phase and more budget is spent before the delivery system has optimized performance. These come into effect on February 16th 2021. 

We’re also very interested in the updates to ads for Facebook Marketplace. As mentioned in our last blog, Facebook is developing Marketplace so that businesses can also advertise their products. A lot of updates have gone into making this channel similar to your traditional marketing objectives. With the release of Facebook Shops being allowed on Marketplace as well, this could be a promising opportunity for many Shopify Merchants. 

October 2020 Facebook Ad Updates

Since our last update, it’s clear to see Facebook is improving user experience with updates to placements and ad creatives, in particular, focusing on their 3rd party areas like Marketplace, Whatsapp and Instagram.

Here are the main updates we’ve seen in October:

  • Audience Network In-stream videos no longer available
  • More Call to Actions available for Ads that click to Whatsapp and Instagram Direct
  • New user interface guidance and content added to the various step of editing
  • Automotive Inventory Ads for Facebook Marketplace
  • Additional Updates

Audience Network In-stream videos no longer available

Facebook has removed the In-Stream Video placement for Audience Network. This means if you active campaigns you will no longer show ads in this placements. This was a decision made by Facebook back in April 2020 and was made based on where they see growing demand and this means focusing on different areas. 

Since then, Facebook has been reducing traffic to this placement and have cautioned that CPM may be temporarily affected, however, this placement is said to be a very small part of Audience Network. 

As for you, the Shopify Merchant, your data will be saved for 6 months from April 11th. All your active ads will no longer use this placement and you cannot create new ads with this placement. 

Below our Performance Marketer Lauren shows how you can edit your placements:

More Call to Actions available for Ads that click to Whatsapp and Instagram Direct

When you create an Ad that clicks a message, there is now a large list of Call to Actions buttons to choose from for Whatsapp or Instagram Direct. Here is Facebook’s guide on how to create an ad that clicks to message. 

Below you can see the CTA’s available, with Shop Now and Subscribe also options. 

More Call to Actions available for Ads that click to Whatsapp and Instagram Direct

Have you tested the different CTAs? Let us know your thoughts on them in the comments below. 

New user interface guidance and content added to the various step of editing

Advertisers will be notified of steps they can implement to follow proven best practices to improve their campaigns’ outcomes. These messages are less intrusive and easy to dismiss but are also easy to find again. 

These notifications have had improved UI to keep to the modern appearance of Ads Manager. When testing this we noticed the suggestions didn’t always appear and there was only 1 or 2 throughout the whole process. 

In the example below, you can see Facebook suggests we change our Ads to a Conversion Objective to drive more important actions. We are given a link to learn more or a button to automatically change this for us. Whilst this is a good suggestion, if we knew that our objective was to drive traffic to a landing page and not drive actions on a landing page we wouldn’t use this suggestion. We think it’s best to take these with a pinch salt, and trust your strategy whilst using these for guidance if needed. 

Change Ads to a Conversion Objective

Automotive Inventory Ads for Facebook Marketplace

Along with new placements and appearing on Desktop, Facebook has also improved Automotive Inventory Ads. When you create ads with a marketplace vehicles catalog, your Automotive Inventory Ads will open the corresponding listing in Facebook Marketplace instead of going offsite.

Learn how to set up this ad type here.

This update shows the improvements Facebook is making to create a simple experience that is most importantly onsite. With the addition of Facebook Shops and on platform checkouts, we can help but question if this is another way of competing with Shopify.

As a Shopify Merchant running Facebook Ads, would you rather have an ad that keeps the customer on one platform to view and purchase, or would you rather direct them to your Shopify store? Let us know in the comments. 

Additional Updates

  • Marketplace placements are now available when you create ads with Post Engagement and Page Like objectives.
  • Now your ads can appear in Marketplace search results on desktop devices when you select the Facebook Search Results placement or use automatic placements.
  • The Facebook search results placement is available with these objectives on mobile devices: brand awareness, reach, engagement, app installs, video views, lead generation and messages. 
  • In August, ads using the Facebook search results placement will also appear on desktop devices.

Things to Keep an Eye Out for 

As always, along with the updates, there are several speculations and announcements from Facebook this month which are yet to appear, therefore, we’d like to keep an eye out for them.

Here are the potential updates to look out for in October:

Introducing Ad Limits in February 2021

Facebook is enacting a limit on the number of ads a Page can have running or in review at the same time. It’s been reasoned that running too many ads at once can hurt performance as fewer ads exit the learning phase and more budget is spent before the delivery system is optimized. 

If you go to the Ad Limits Per Page section of your Account Overview, you can see how many ads each Page can have running or in review, when the limits take effect for your Pages, and ways to manage ad volume.

Since each ad's performance improves the more it is shown, advertisers of different sizes should use different ad volumes to improve ad performance. There are four ad volume tiers to encourage advertisers of different sizes to use the ad volume per Page that optimizes their performance.

Advertiser size table

This comes into effect on February 16th 2021. You can find out more here.

If you ever want to find updates for yourself, just google “what’s new in ads manager’. Facebook has a whole page of new and past releases that you can look at. You can find those here.

You can also view Release Notes from Facebook within Ads Manager itself. If you click the question mark icon in the bottom left -hand corner, a new menu will open on the right. After scrolling you will see “Ads Manager Updates” with purple star icon just like below:

Most of this Month’s ‘to look out for updates’ were found this way and haven’t yet been officially released on Facebook’s “What’s New in Ads Manager” page. 

How to find Ads Manager Updates

If you have any comments or questions, just leave a comment on our blog. Equally, if you’d like to learn more about how Blend Commerce could help grow your business with Facebook Ads, send us an email here.

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