2022 has been tough for Meta. At the start of the year, the company formerly known as Facebook pivoted (back) to video after its earnings disappointed investors. Since then, it has been besieged by bad press.
To reverse its concerning financials, the social giant is turning to a classic strategy: Ads, ads, and more ads. Meta has announced several new ad formats that will affect its TikTok-style format, Reels. On Facebook, “post-loop” spots will insert breaks at the ends of Reels. On Instagram, Reels ads will get more visibility thanks to placements in the Explore tab.
Post-loop ads will be between 4 to 10 seconds long. According to TechCrunch, the short spots are specifically designed to be used on Facebook. By appending commercials to the ends of Reels, Meta is providing advertisers with an option that differs from what’s available on platforms like Snapchat and YouTube Shorts. Snap has put mid-rolls in its Stories, and YouTube is looking to run ads between Shorts. The new ads on Facebook Reels won’t be for everyone, since many short-form clips are designed to loop seamlessly.
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Meta unveiled the Facebook Reels post-loops in a blog post. That post also discussed carousel ads, which scroll across the bottom of the screen. “Our goal is to be able to provide the tools and the monetization opportunities, as you are continually growing your creator following across our platforms,” said Nada Stirratt, VP of Meta’s Global Business Group for the Americas.
On Instagram, users will start seeing ads once they open the Explore tab. According to Meta, that change will let brands “reach people in the earliest stages of discovering new content they care about.”
Other marketing developments on Instagram will take advantage of Meta’s latest technological advancements. As seen above, a new format will incorporate augmented reality (AR) in order to add an interactive element to ads. As Meta noted, a furniture company could use AR filters to let consumers design a dream living space — all without leaving the comfort of their Instagram feed.
Meta’s AI technology is also factoring into its ad push. With “multi-advertiser ads” on Instagram, brands can connect with users who have expressed purchase intent. If you click an external shopping link on Instagram, you may see a panel of multi-advertiser spots when you return to your feed.
These new formats will join the existing ads on Facebook and Instagram’s vertical video format. Meta has been testing ads on Instagram Reels for at least 18 months. On Facebook, Reels gained enhanced monetization options back in February.