Facebook Testing New Shareable Ads

In the world of online advertising, companies like Google and Facebook are constantly updating their practices to meet the demands of all sorts of businesses, as well as improving interaction and usability to attempt to grab the attention of today’s consumers.

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In keeping with such updates, Facebook has just begun testing a new feature that would allow businesses to make their online ads shareable on Facebook.

Mashable discovered the shareable ad unit on BuzzFeed, which played host to a “featured partner” ad spot for Hidden Valley Ranch. Facebook confirmed that they are testing the new sharing feature, but did not announce how many companies are involved or any other details about the test.

If the shareable ads become available to all advertisers, companies that opt in would have the opportunity to purchase ads on other websites that would include a “share on Facebook” link, which leads users to the company’s website. Once on the company’s website, users can easily post the ad to their Facebook timeline for their entire social network to see.

The new shareable ad feature would be a completely new way for companies who don’t already advertise on Facebook to reach a new audience. And the companies that do already advertise on Facebook may be able to reach even more consumers, the thought being that some consumers might be more likely to click an ad if they see that it was shared by one of their friends.

Facebook has not released pricing information for the shareable ads yet, as the feature has only been made available to a select group of advertisers. So it remains to be seen if the feature might be feasible for many small businesses. If shareable ads are not made affordable for small business budgets, then the advertising options available on Facebook may become more one-sided in favor of large companies with huge online ad budgets.

Facebook’s current advertising menu includes features like promoted pages and sponsored stories, which aim to garner more Facebook fans and to have more fans see important posts from a company’s Facebook page. The new shareable ads, if Facebook decides to move forward with the idea, wouldn’t necessarily have any impact on a company’s Facebook page or Facebook fans.

For more information about advertising on Facebook and to keep up with announcements about new features, you can visit Facebook’s advertising page.

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Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder, CEO and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses.

7 Reactions
  1. A very interesting idea. I’m interested to see how much traction it will get when people realize they’re sharing an ad to their friends (the ads will have to be pretty good, and not overly commercial to work IMO).

  2. This will be really interesting to watch as Facebook tries to make more money off their user base. I think the concept of the ad unit is innovative, but it will really depend on if the users adopt it like Facebook thinks they will.

    Based on their history, it appears that Facebook really screws up in this area a lot (not really knowing what their users want and prefer), based on the continual backlashes they get when things change on the time. It looks like in this instance, only time will tell.

    What do you think will come of this Anita?

  3. Thanks for keeping us updated on this topic. I think that it will be interesting to watch and see if consumers notice that they are sharing ads. I will definitely keep my eyes open now that I know to look!

  4. This is definitely something to keep an eye on. I would think that this would be like a virtual coupon swap between people who know what their friends like to buy.

  5. This is very interesting, but I’m not overly sure about the concept. I think ads on many websites are ignored by the majority of people, and I don’t think a huge amount would be open to sharing ads with their friends. Liking a product, brand or person is one thing, but the ad would have to be exceptionally well crafted or disguised to warrant sharing. We’ll see!

  6. Personally, I like my freedom of choice … If you share ads for me without me choosing, then it’s not my choice … If I want to share ads, I know where the “share” button is … just saying!