Facebook is trying to make it even more tempting for you to buy products from the News Feed

Mark zuckerbergJustin Sullivan/GettyFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Facebook has announced a series of new features to its Dynamic Product Ads format as it looks to make it even more tempting for users to buy products directly from the News Feed, opening up additional ad revenues from retailers.

DPAs, which Facebook launched back in February, are essentially the company’s ad version of the “buy button,” which functions alongside the other buy button it’s rolling out for retailers.

They’re Facebook’s answer to Google’s Product Listing Ads, Twitter’s Buy Button, Pinterest’s buyable pins, and ad tech companies like Criteo whose sole focus is “retargeting” ads from retailers at consumers who are likely to buy a product. It’s a huge, growing market of addressable spend: Retailers spent 47% more on Google Shopping ads in the holiday season in 2014 than they did a year ago, according to Adobe. Facebook wants to grab a bigger slice of that action by making its ads more attractive to retailers.

To begin with Dynamic Product ads allowed advertisers to showcase their product catalogue via Facebook, and create campaigns in the News Feed targeting certain products to particular audiences. Examples could include people that had already visited that retailer’s website, or users that lived in certain locations, or had specific interests.

In a blog post published Tuesday, Facebook says the format has worked so well (citing online art retailer JUNIQE, which increased its conversion rates by 40%, while reducing cost per purchase by 6% using Dynamic Product Ads,) it’s decided to expand its capabilities.

  • First up, retailers will soon be able to show related products to people who have purchased an item. Before you could only show related products to people who viewed an item or added it to their cart. So if you bought a hat from a retailer, you might see an ad for scarf from the same brand next time you visit Facebook.
  • Then there’s a big update from an ad tech and data targeting perspective: Facebook says it will enable marketers to optimise for people who are likely to buy a product, not just those who are likely to click on it. Facebook says this is more efficient than charging on a regular cost-per-click basis. The idea is that you might be reaching fewer people, but you’re reaching the people that count. We’ve asked Facebook exactly how this will work, and we’ll update this post once we hear back.
  • In the coming weeks, Facebook is also extending Dynamic Product Ads to its Facebook Audience Network. That means advertisers can reach potential customers on apps other than Facebook too.

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