Facebook has unveiled a new type of ad unit called ‘Collections’, which incorporate video, product images, and even Canvas-style elements, within a single post.
As you can see, the main element of the new format will be a video (though it can also be an image if you choose), with related products listed beneath. Advertisers will have the option of either selecting the products to be featured, or letting Facebook decide which products to showcase, based on the brand’s existing product catalog – Facebook will optimize the display based on what it thinks will best appeal to the each individual viewer.
When a user clicks on any of the images, they’ll be taken to a product catalog of up to 50 items which Facebook will again pull from the advertisers’ product listing. The display is hosted on Facebook and functions like a mini-website, the same way their Canvas ads do. Click on any specific item and you’ll get a full-screen profile – you won’t be able to purchase products through Facebook at this stage, though that does seem like a logical future development.
The new ads look to tap into the popularity of video content for driving response – according to Facebook, 75% of consumers say that watching video on social media influences their purchase decisions.
The ads are also very similar to Pinterest’s recently introduced Promoted Video ads, which – in the same way – feature product listings along with a showcase video.