New Facebook Design and Ad Placement Location

Clive Lobo

Facebook announced a new round of changes to its site design and user interface today – in addition to changing the location of it’s ads.

In an announcement on July 20th Facebook states that the changes will result in a “cleaner, and simpler design, along with the opportunity for users to preview and test the next-generation features and functionality” You can read more from their official July 20th press release here

Changing Facebook’s Ad Location
In addition to this press release, advertisers were emailed a seperate announcement detaling the changes to the advertising system. Currently, Facebook ads are placed on the left side of the page, below a profiles navigation. The new changes will place the ad on the RIGHT side of the page – an area of the page that, arguably, users are more used to seeing ads (thank your Google, Yahoo and MSN).

Moreover, Facebook will now be showing TWO ads at any one time on any given page. There was no mention of how an ad is selected to place first, however it is safe to assume that placement will be determined by ones minimum CPC bid. That being said, this change may pave the way for Facebook to adopt a “quality score” type of a system similar to Google and Yahoo’s which “rewards” advertisers with higher ad placement through a calculation involving high click-through-rates, bids and landing pages.

The last major change is the addition of a new ad on Facebook’s home page. This ad will be located to the right of the News Feed and initially run for a limited set of advertisers (no mention of how to be part of that limited set). Their statement does say that “as this space continues to evolve and improve, we’ll provide more details.

It will be interesting to see how these changes affect the uptake of Facebook’s advertising system. Given the recent announcement that MySpace’s advertising platform is now operating in full swing, it appears that Facebook wanted to make a little splash of their own. That… and the fact that Facebook’s investors might be looking for some sort of return on their investment.

As a current Facebook advertiser, it would have been great to see them invest in their platform and add some very basic functionality that other services already have. Here is a list of my “Darn, Sure Wish Facebook Had This in Their System” wishes:

1. Conversion tracking – Google, Yahoo and MSN all have it and it REALLY helps explain to a client where their marketing dollars have gone and specifically what RETURN they have received for it

2. Better Billing Reporting – It can’t be that hard to create a system that sends me a pdf invoice of when a credit card has been changed and shows the breakdown of those charges/clicks

3. An MCC – Recently when I wanted to set up a new client I found that until another client had paid off their credit card… I couldn’t create a new campaign. Having some type of “My Client Centre” would be nice and would help manage different accounts in a more streamlined process.

4. Reports in HTML – Create the option of having reports generated as HTML, not just excel!

Basic rule of thumb (and this goes to Yahoo and MSN too) if you want more advertisers, serve the companies who are selling your product with effective tools to manage your system.

You can see Facebooks new changes by accessing their beta site here – however at last check, this was re-directing to their existing home page.

Clive Lobo

Spark’s resident boss man, Clive possesses the very nature of an entrepreneurial spirit.

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