Facebook explores Marketplace ad space
- Facebook is testing new ad placements in its Marketplace feature, the Craigslist-style section for buying and selling items, according to Recode. This comes after executives announced last year that the platform's News Feed was reaching maximum ad load, meaning it can't stuff more ads into users' feeds without harming their experience.
- For now, the ads are only being tested on a limited group of Facebook users, and advertisers can't buy ads specifically to appear in the Marketplace section. The ads will look and feel the same as those in the News Feed, except users can't buy products directly on the platform through the ads. Instead, clicking on one will bring them to a landing page specified by the advertiser.
- As the social media giant explores other ad spots on the main platform and within its extended portfolio of apps and services, Facebook announced in a press release that it reeled in nearly $27 billion in advertising revenue last year.
Testing ads in Marketplace, the year-old selling platform, is the latest move from Facebook this year to boost revenue and diversify its services. In January, it began testing mid-roll video ads on the main platform and on Instagram Stories, where it also started running full-screen vertical video and static photo units. Last week, the social media giant announced it was expanding its beta test of ads in the Messenger app worldwide after a limited test-run in Australia and Thailand.
All of these efforts come after Facebook's Q1 results showed that ad growth is slowing. Growth in that quarter was 51% — a healthy figure — but down from 56% the same period in 2016. And a report by Adweek citing three digital advertising agencies found spending on Facebook has continued to drop in Q2 2017 as well.
One area Facebook looks to be ramping up for ad space is its push into original video content with hopes to get some of the ad dollars that are moving from traditional TV to online video. For the best-case scenario, exploring these new placement options could help Facebook cash in on advertisers' massive TV ad budgets.