Two months since Canvas Ads launch on Facebook

MUMBAI: Digital marketers and new age advertisers were quite in frenzy when Facebook introduced its new product called Canvas at Cannes last year and subsequently launched it globally in February 25 2016. And why not? Canvas allowed advertisers to combine video, photographs and copy in an ad promising an immersive experience for the consumers. It was based off the very root of all digital marketers’ worry -- intrusive ads that are point blank disliked by consumers.

It’s not a secret that YouTube’s ‘Skip Ad’ button is probably the most clicked button ever, not to mention the high bounce rates at sites with too many full page ads, be it desktop or mobile; perhaps more so on mobile advertising due to the limited space on screen.

The challenge was simple -- how to create engaging experiences through ads so that people, instead of being put off by them, willingly spend more time on the platform.

“We’re committed to building great mobile experiences for people and doing so also opens up new creative possibilities for advertisers. We’ve invested in engaging experiences like video and the carousel format to empower advertisers with more creative space to share their brand and products on mobile,” Facebook had shared then. The project was brought to life after a collaboration of the advertising community, Facebook Engineers, Designers, and Creative Shop-- all working together in a constant feedback loop.

“This space was designed and invented and inspired by our relationship with the creative community,” Facebook, CCO Mark D’Arcy was earlier heard stating.

It’s been a little over two months and within these two months, 186 countries have experienced Canvas with US, Brazil, Mexico, Italy, UK, France, Thailand, Germany, Turkey, India being the top 10 countries.

Facebook has already achieved a significant amount of what it aimed at, as per the data the social media giant shared with In the past three months, people have spent more than 100 years of time in Canvases and people spend an average of 31 seconds in Canvas.

The other USP feature of Canvas is its ease of use to create a dynamic ad for mobile, just what the SMEs needed.

“Teams simplified the creation experience to six core elements that we heard were the building blocks that people cared about and provided enough creative freedom to build compelling experiences such as -- headers, photos, videos, text, buttons, and carousels,” Facebook explained in an official statement, and as per its freshly gathered data 50 per cent of the Facebook ads created on canvas are done in 10 minutes or less time.

Facebook’s internal user engagement behaviour data was a huge help in guiding the developers address some of the major issues consumers faced on Facebook while interacting with engaging advertisements on mobile.

“One of the major feedbacks on mobile ads was that ‘Videos took too long to load.’ For this the team made a huge shift to re-architect all of our client renderings to enable content to load faster and progressively fetch elements in a Canvas as they were needed (rather than downloading the whole thing.) We made video compression much more efficient,” shared a Facebook Canvas representative, acknowledging the importance of videos in today’s two way communication on mobile. Interestingly canvasses also allowed advertisers to intervene in real time and improve their canvas ads based on feedback and data responses.

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