Facebook just completely changed the way it charges advertisers --  here's how people in the industry feel about it

Mark ZuckerbergRobert Galbraith/ReutersFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook completely changed the way it charges advertisers Wednesday afternoon, and they’re happy about it.

From now on, advertisers who buy ads on a CPC basis will only have to pay when users actually click a link to their brand’s website or app. They will no longer have to pay when when the user likes, shares, or comments on the post.

The idea is that advertisers who care about link clicks will only be paying for straight clicks, not engagement.

That probably means that they will have to pay higher rates  — the CPC will increase — but the return on their investment should also be higher.

Advertisers will still be able to bid for engagement, such as likes and shares, but they will just choose other optimization options and these outcomes won’t be tracked in CPC.

Essentially, advertisers will be able to be more specific in the types of ads they buy on Facebook.

“If you think back, a lot of advertisers thought of Facebook only as a social platform and were strictly engagement focused,” Facebook head of ads product marketing Richard Sim told Marketing Land. “Over the past few years we’ve really been focused on driving business results. The transition to clicks being only link clicks is a big step in this transition.”

We poked around to see how industry insiders feel about this change. 

Jerry Daykin, Global digital director at marketing company Carat, says that marketers will probably be perturbed by the higher CPCs at first, but that they will ultimately benefit from the change.  

“It makes a lot of sense to separate the two goals because in reality they have always been quite different,” he told Business Insider via email. “The kind of content that best drives likes and comments is probably quite different [than the content that drives clicks], and there’s little evidence to show that those metrics ultimately drive business results on a macro level.”

Needham analyst Laura Martin believes that digital advertising still needs a standard measurement of metrics across different sites, but that this is a positive step for Facebook. It’s a more pristine definition and metric, which will give marketers less clutter going forward, she told Business Insider via email. 

On Twitter, a couple other advertising industry folks seemed happy about the move:

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