A recent article on Facebook’s blog quietly reveals their big step forward in ad viewability. The roll out date isn’t entirely clear, and may have happened already.
This news comes hot on the heels of a number of platform and ad format changes in the past month but shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Since before their IPO in 2012 Facebook has been quite clear on their intent to be the dominant digital channel for audiences and advertisers alike.
Over the past year major strategic acquisitions and partnerships have brought in a range of new capabilities making Facebook a more engaging place for people to spend their time, with increased transparency and value being delivered through their advertising offerings as a result.
The recent news of Facebook unilaterally changing to charge only for viewable impressions puts them ahead of the curve. Quite a few publishers have already have a viewable impression buy as a premium priced option. But by making this their default, Facebook is raising the benchmark on what advertisers should expect from digital channels.
So what does this mean for you?
- Your click through rates and engagement rates should go up
- Your overall reach might drop slightly
- You can now put your money into Facebook newsfeed ad formats with slightly more confidence you aren’t paying for flick through impressions
Overall though, your cost per click and cost per acquisition should remain consistent.
So beyond understanding why your engagement has had a nice uplift this won’t change the world for you, besides giving you a stronger reason to consider adding video and multiproduct ad formats to your creative mix.
The big picture implications are a little more interesting;
- How accurately is viewability measured on mobile devices where viewability issues are more pronounced than on desktop devices?
- If viewability is now standard across ads shown on Facebook, will viewability also be guaranteed on media bought through Facebook that appears on other sites & apps?
- What will the performance networks like Yahoo and Microsoft Media Network do in response?
- How will revenue streams of independent sites be affected?
No matter what happens in the market at large, its great to see a publisher directly addressing the issue of viewability and raising the bar on value and transparency