A new Facebook design is rolling out to users worldwide. The new look borrows heavily from their native mobile apps, providing a larger feed experience, with quick access to the friends list and common features.
With images and videos scaled up, sponsored posts also gain a significant amount of screen space. Advertisers need to monitor creative performance over the coming weeks and months to ensure the format change doesn’t have unexpected consequences.
For our clients, and the larger community, we present the following comparison between the old and new desktop newsfeed formats.
TLDR; Most ad units are increasing 85% in screen space. This presents an opportunity for more fine details, and legible text.
This is the least changed ad unit. Image dimensions are still 600 x 600. The post format features rounded corners, cutting off the upper edges of each slide. But where the old feed included 1.5 slides, the new one adds another full slide to highlight the variety available. The ad copy has also gone up a couple point sizes, resulting in a slightly taller ad.
Dark Mode adds an extra factor that must be considered when planning ad color schemes.
Square Link Ads
Link images have gone from 1000 x 1000 to 1360 x 1360. That’s an extra 850k pixels, resulting in a 85% larger image. We see a real benefit here, in that more detailed text can fit within Facebook’s 20% guidelines.
Square Video Ads
Square video ads share the same dimensions and appearance as their still counterparts. And while on larger monitors they fill the space, on smaller screens Facebook has added some odd responsive behavior.
Here’s how they’re supposed to look:
But in smaller browser windows the video frame becomes shorter, and the frame is padded with black bars.
This could impact square video performance, and should be monitored closely.
Vertical Video Ads
Even on the old layout, Vertical Videos were padded to fill a square frame, but the padding inherited a background image made from a blurred, color-shifted version of the video. This is a common standard around the web. But the new layout does away with this convention, in favor of black bars.
Like the other ad units here, the viewable video frame has increased 85% to 1090 x 1360
Vertical Photo Ads
Often overlooked for ecommerce marketing, Photo Ads (with an embedded short link) can still be an important part of an ecommerce campaign. No other ad unit takes up more screen space. And with the new layout, that’s lead has only grown. The new dimensions of 1360 x 1700 give Photo Ads 25% more screen space than Square Link Ads.
Collections (Instant Experience/Canvas)
While Collection Ads don’t serve on Desktop Newsfeed (they’re Mobile-only), the old layout offered a quick preview of the destination Canvas. That feature isn’t yet available on the new layout.
Time will tell if it’s added later, or if Collection ads will continue to click through to the Facebook Profile as they are now.
Lastly, we notice Facebook has yet to update the Business Page layout when admins are posting new content, and using their management tools. Hopefully this will be addressed soon as not only is it a disrupting change of interfaces, but it prevents admins from accurately previewing their created content.
We know Facebook performs extensive testing before releasing new features, to confirm they have the desired effect on user behavior. For years that meant optimizing for more engagement, and longer browsing sessions. While those goals may have changed over the past few years, we’re confident the new desktop experience will result in improved performance for advertisers who cater to the new formats. For help with your ecommerce marketing campaigns, you can always get in touch.