Facebook recently announced the launch of a feature called Canvas – a new ad platform that’s more immersive than anything they’ve done before.
The network has built on the success of its carousel posts, ads that allow users to swipe through products in-stream, which can be up to ten times better at encouraging click-throughs than regular posts.
With Canvas, Facebook has gone one better. They’ve basically created a platform that allows brands to build a microsite within the network itself. It looks a bit like Snapchat, and utilises devices’ gyroscopes to let users to roll through different product images and videos.
Canvas also loads almost instantly because the user stays within Facebook while they’re engaging with it. This is to minimise the drop offs you get with long load times on mobile website click-throughs.
Using it seems pretty straight forward, as it’s accessed through the advert section of Power Editor (not advert set or campaign):
Once you’ve hit ‘+’ to create a new Canvas, you’re faced with options for the main components – a title, a header and a photo.
So far, so simple. But the real fun is in the rest of it. If you hit ‘add component’, you get another list of options, which includes carousels, buttons & photos:
So Canvas ads will likely take much longer, and require much more planning, than any other type of Facebook ad. You’re basically building a mini shop within Facebook, so you need to really think about how it looks and functions.
It seems to me that the best option would really be to sketch out roughly what the journey will be before even starting to build the canvas.
Another thing to note is that, for the first time, you need to preview the ads on your mobile device rather than on desktop. The feature itself is mobile-only, so it makes sense that the preview should be too.
It’s incredibly simple to do. Just hit ‘Preview on Device’, and Facebook sends you a notification to view the ad.
Who will be happy abut Facebook Canvas?
Well, brands, agencies and social media managers should all be pretty excited. If the success of carousel ads is anything to go by, Canvas could really drive up engagement and sales for all sorts of different businesses.
One of the case studies on their blog – ASUS – saw a 42% increase in clicks on the Canvas, and 70% of those who did went on to click through to the website.
Canvas should also be great for creative agencies as digital teams have so many features to play with. The planning and execution of these sorts of campaigns will probably become a crucial part of any content strategy.
Who won’t be happy about Facebook Canvas?
Legacy media, Twitter and old style digital advertisers. This will take yet more money away from standard online banner advertising as it’s quicker, slicker and will likely deliver far better results.
Facebook are getting closer and closer to that mythical, impossible legend – the online advert people actually want to look at.