Facebook updates often appear to the Ads Manager overnight.
Sometimes, the only way to find out about new Facebook features is to spot the blue “New” sign next to an updated feature.
But how can you find all of them?
For instance, did you know that…
- You can set up an ad with multiple creatives and copy; and Facebook will determine the best combination.
- You can dynamically optimize the language of your ads.
- Facebook is looking to restrict like-to-win posts’ reach.
- You can now customize your ad creatives based on placement.
You had no idea these features exist?
Well, that’s only the tip of the iceberg. In the past three months, Facebook has made many updates to its advertising platform.
Here are the 12 most important Facebook updates in Q1 2018 that could have a huge effect on your results and ad cost:
- You can create Facebook ads with a Dynamic Creative to find top creatives.
- Facebook ads now have dynamic language optimization.
- Facebook now has a Creative Split Testing feature.
- You can verify your domains on Facebook and keep editing link previews.
- You can now customize your creative assets by placement.
- There are new multicity and multicountry targeting features.
- Facebook is clamping down on engagement bait.
- You can customize the Thank You screen of your Lead Ads.
- Facebook is launching Sound Collection – a set of free video sounds.
- Facebook is testing a new type of Messenger ads.
- Facebook is adding click-to-WhatsApp messaging ad buttons.
- You can now invoice buyers via PayPal’s Messenger extension.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these updates, and see how you can benefit.
UPDATE: On January 9, Facebook launched its latest new feature: Campaign Budget Optimization. Check it out!
1. You can create Facebook ads with Dynamic Creative
Have you ever run a Facebook ads A/B test to find out which ad image works best?
Maybe you also wanted to test some ad copy variations alongside your ad images. As a result, you had 10+ ad variations in a single ad set.
That’s a little bit messy.
Luckily, you can now have Facebook’s algorithms find you the best combination of ad images, headlines, and main text.
This feature is called the Dynamic Creative
Dynamic Creative allows you to create a single Facebook ad that includes up to 30 creative assets. After you publish the ad, Facebook will mix and match your ad to find what performs best.
In addition to the overall limit of 30, Facebook caps the number of individual creative variations that can be submitted.
You can include up to…
- 5 headlines
- 10 images or videos
- 5 texts
- 5 link descriptions
- 5 CTA buttons
Note that you can’t submit images and videos to the same Dynamic Creative ad.
How to set up Dynamic Creative ads
To create an ad set with Dynamic Creative ad, you’ll have to use the Facebook Power Editor or updated Ads Manager and select the Quick Creation workflow. (Not the Guided Creation workflow)
Currently, the new Facebook feature is available for three campaign objectives only:
- App install ads
As you’re setting up your new ad set, look for the Dynamic Creative box and turn on the option.
After you’ve made all the selections in the ad set phase, move on to your ad and upload all the different creative elements you wish to test.
FYI, here’s a list of supported ad placements for Dynamic Creative ads:
- Facebook Newsfeed on desktop and mobile
- Right hand column
- Instagram feed
- Audience Network classic
- Audience Network In-stream video
- Audience Network rewarded video
As you’re creating your Facebook ad, you should see the “+ Add” button and be able to add several variations of images, headlines, and copy.
After you’ve added all the ad element variations you need, it’s time to publish your new campaign.
Up next, Facebook will start to show people different variations of your Dynamic Creative ad, learning what people prefer. Note that you won’t be creating multiple ads, just one ad with Dynamic Creatives.
After a while, you’ll be able to see in your campaign reports which images, text, headlines, etc. performed best in various combinations with other tested elements.
To see how your dynamic creatives performed, click on the “Breakdown” menu at the top right of your ad reports and select “By Asset.”
Running some Dynamic Creative ads will help you easily find out what your best-performing ad creatives and headlines are.
Tip: You need at least 20 conversions per creative to draw meaningful test results. That’s why, it makes sense not to submit 30 different elements, but test up to 10 elements per ad. I personally prefer testing ad images and the main ad copy, as these two Facebook ad elements make the highest impact.
2. Facebook ads now have dynamic language optimization
Note: This Facebook feature is still in beta, and will be gradually rolled out to all advertisers.
However, it’s a really helpful feature, making many Facebook marketers’ life easier and also lowering the Facebook ads cost.
Here’s how it works:
If you’re advertising to people in several languages, Facebook’s dynamic language optimization allows you to deliver multilingual ads to the right audiences.
Instead of having different ad sets with translated ads for different languages, you can create one ad with up to 6 different language versions, and Facebook will auto-optimize your campaign budget to deliver your ads in the right language to the right people.
This is highly beneficial when:
- Advertising in a single country to people speaking multiple languages
- Promoting your product to a group of countries, regions or worldwide
How to set up a Facebook ad with multiple languages
Step 1: Create a new Facebook ad campaign.
Use the traffic, mobile app installs or conversions campaign objective.
Step 2: Set up your new ad set.
Note that this Facebook feature only supports ads placement in Facebook Newsfeed (web and mobile), Instagram and Audience Network.
Step 3: Set up your Facebook ad with multiple languages.
To create your ad in more than one language, click the “Create in Different Language” button under Multiple Languages.
Step 4: Select your Default Language.
Choose a default language that you think will be the most spoken language in your target audience.
The ad in the default language will also be served to people who don’t match any other languages your ad includes. Next, add a headline and text for your default ad.
Step 5: Add additional languages.
Up next, you can add up to five more language options to your ad. Add the headlines and copy for your ads in other languages.
Tip: If you are using the website clicks and website conversions objective, you can also include language-specific website links.
After you’ve added all the language variations you need, hit the “Create” button to publish your new language-optimized ad.
Tip: When showing a Facebook ad in a specific language, you should also make sure that your landing page is in the same language to avoid a high drop-off rate.
3. Facebook now has a Creative Split Testing feature
Facebook Ads Manager has had a built-in split testing feature for almost a year now.
This feature allowed advertisers to A/B test different delivery optimizations, ad placements, and audiences to see what works best.
As a recent update, you can now also split test your ad creatives.
(Do not confuse this with Dynamic Creatives that we covered in step 1. With Creative Split Testing feature, you will create more than on Facebook ad while there’s only one dynamic creative ad.)
For example, if Google wanted to A/B test what background color works best, they could set up a creative split testing campaign in the Ads Manager.
How the Creative Split Testing feature works:
Previously, when you wanted to A/B test your Facebook ad copy or images, you needed to create multiple ad sets that contained all your ad variations.
This meant multiple ad sets, all targeting the same Facebook or Instagram target audience.
This was a bit messy and most definitely time-consuming.
Moreover, people in your target audience saw all the variations of your Facebook ad. This could get annoying pretty quickly.
One of the main benefits of Facebook Creative Split Testing feature is that it helps to avoid the audience overlap – the same people won’t see multiple different versions of your Facebook ad.
To set up a creatives split test in the Ads Manager, create a new ad set and let Facebook know you want to A/B test your ad creative.
Up next, you can select your ad placements and set up the Facebook ad bidding.
Note that your split test has to be running for at least three days. This is required so that Facebook can get the minimum sample size necessary to determine a winner. The maximum duration of a Facebook split testing campaign is 14 days.
You can also ask Facebook to complete the split test once it has enough results to draw conclusions. Simply tick the box.
To set up all tested ad variations, create your first ad as you normally would with image, link, headline, text, link description, CTA button, etc.
When you click the “Test Another Ad” button, Facebook will copy your ad and you can create a slightly different variation of it.
You can split test up to five different creative variations.
After you’ve hit the “Publish” button, Facebook will create several ad sets with your ad variations.
The good thing about this Facebook update is that the audience members for your split test’s ad sets won’t overlap – something you couldn’t achieve when setting up a regular A/B test.
4. You can now verify your domains on Facebook
At the beginning of 2017, Facebook marketers were able to edit the link description of every link they published on their Facebook page.
These golden days are long gone.
Now, when adding a new link to Facebook, you won’t be able to edit the headline nor link description (text under your post’s headline) – it’s just static and Facebook takes it from your link’s meta description.
And sometimes, it’s super annoying.
Luckily, Facebook only recently added a new feature – Domain Verification.
By verifying your domain ownership on Facebook, you can edit the link previews of your website links again. Thank god.
What is Facebook Domain Verification?
Domain Verification provides a way for you to claim ownership of your domain in Business Manager.
This ownership allows you to control editing privileges of your links and other content to prevent misuse of your domain and to keep bad actors from spreading misinformation. Basically, it’s a new feature to fight fake news and other faulty content.
How to add a new domain to your Facebook Business Manager
Step 1: In Business Manager, click on the Business Settings button.
Step 2: In the Business Settings, make sure you are in the People and Assets tab, and select Domains from the left side navigation list.
Step 3: Click on the Add New Domains button, and enter your domain in the Add a domain pop-up dialogue.
Step 4: To implement domain verification, you can choose between two different methods:
- Add a DNS TXT entry to your DNS record to confirm that you own the domain
- Upload an HTML file provided by Facebook to your web directory and confirm domain ownership in Business Manager.
Personally, I find the second option easier.
- Download the HTML verification file.
- Upload the file to the root directory of your website. You will be able to see that it is uploading at the link provided in the HTML File Upload tab.
- Once it is done, click the Verify button at the bottom of the HTML File Verification tab for the selected domain.
- Leave the HTML verification file in your website’s root directory as it may be checked periodically for verification purposes.
You can also associate multiple Facebook Pages with your verified domains. Here’s a step-by-step guide by Facebook.
Key takeaway: By verifying your domain in the Business Manager, you can edit your domain’s link previews on Facebook.
5. You can now customize your creative assets by placement
First of all, what is a creative asset?
Well… A creative asset it’s your ad image, text, headline, link description or CTA button.
Now, let’s take a look at all the different ad placements provided on the Facebook ad network.
- Desktop Newsfeed
- Mobile Newsfeed
- Instant Articles
- In-Stream Videos
- Right Column
- Suggested Videos
- Native, Banner and Interstitial
- In-Stream Videos
- Rewarded Videos
- Sponsored Messages
The problem with som many different placements is that they all have slightly different ad formats and image sizes.
For example, the ads in the Mobile Newsfeed have the measure of 1200px x 628px.
However, on Instagram, your ads size can be 1080px x 1080px, making your ad image a square instead of a rectangle.
So what should you do? Create multiple ad sets for different placements?
In the past, this was the only option to optimize your ad creatives based on placement. Not anymore.
Now, you can simply use the new Facebook feature that lets you add multiple ad creatives for different placements – all in a single ad.
How to customize your creatives based on placements
You can currently customize creative assets for the following placements:
- Facebook Desktop Newsfeed
- Facebook Mobile Newsfeed
- Instagram Feed
- Instagram Stories
- Audience Network (Native, Banner, and Interstitial)
As you upload a new image to your ad, you will see an option to add different creatives for additional placements.
By uploading different creatives for all your ad placements, you can optimize the size and font size of your ad images, making them a better match for each ad placement.
I personally like to create different visuals for Facebook and Instagram advertising – this way, you can have larger square images show up in people’s Instagram feeds.
Tip: When creating placement-based creatives, make sure to follow the aspect ratios for all Facebook ad placements:
- Facebook News Feed: 254 x 133px minimum (1.91:1 aspect ratio)
- Instagram Feed: 500 x 262px minimum (1.91:1)
- Instagram Stories: 500 x 889px minimum (.56:1)
- Audience Network Native, Banner, and Interstitial: 254 x 133px minimum (1.91:1)
6. New multicity and multicountry targeting features
Many Facebook advertisers are showing ads across the world.
For example, if you’re running an eCommerce or SaaS (Software as a Service) business like Asana, you can serve the very same ad across borders.
For advertisers looking to expand their ads’ reach to new horizons, Facebook recently added two helpful features:
- You can create multicountry Lookalike Audiences
- You can create multicity audiences
Let’s take a closer look.
Multicountry Lookalike Audiences
Previously, when creating a new Lookalike Audience, you had to select one country to target. That’s not the case anymore.
However, note that if you’re targeting countries with different populations, the distribution of audience members may not be equal between the countries you’re targeting.
Often, advertisers want to target people living in cities as they’re more likely to be interested in specific products.
Now, you don’t need to type in all the cities in a specific country. You can simply select the multicity targeting option.
And it keeps getting better. You can also target cities based on their size, meaning that you can only reach people in small or big cities if you’d like.
Tip: Use this feature when entering a new country to uncover all the largest cities. You can break down your ad reports by city to see where your most engaged audience lives. Moreover, you can use multicity audiences to create Facebook retargeting campaigns that reach several cities at once.
7. Facebook is clamping down on engagement bait
As reported by TechCrunch, Facebook will soon start to limit the reach of posts that ask people to like, share or comment in exchange for a chance to win something.
“A new tweak to the Newsfeed algorithm will mean “stricter demotions” for Pages, and/or individual, who adopt engagement bait tactics. Starting in a couple of weeks, offenders will have the total reach on all of their posts reduced if their content is begging or baiting users to interact.”
Facebook did specify that there are some exceptions to this clampdown, including examples like a missing child report, raising money for a cause, or asking for travel tips.
8. You can customize the Thank You screen of your Facebook Lead Ads
If you’re regularly running a Facebook Lead Ads campaign, here’s good news: you can now customize your Thank You screen that users see after submitting their contact details.
Here’s an example by Jon Loomer of how the new feature works:
9. Facebook is launching Sound Collection
Facebook is launching video editing tool Sound Collection for inserting into Facebook and Instagram clips “songs, vocals, noises, and instrumental tracks spanning genres like hip hop, pop, jazz, country, and more.
According to Facebook, the Sound Collection gives you access to thousands of high-quality audio tracks and sound effects from all over the world to spice up your videos.
These sounds are owned by Facebook, and are free and clear to use in any videos you create and share on Facebook and Instagram.
So basically, the Facebook Sound Collection is a set of free audio files that you can add to your ads running on Facebook and Instagram.
Check it out!
10. Facebook is testing new Messenger ads
As reported by TechCrunch, Facebook is developing and internally testing a new ad product called Messenger Broadcast.
Messenger Broadcast is a self-serve mass-messaging interface that lets businesses send marketing messages to users.
Once this Facebook update goes live, brands could send Messenger messages to thousands of people. This could look similar to the push notifications marketers can send to app users.
However, users will still have to opt in before brands are able to message them directly.
11. Facebook is adding click-to-WhatsApp messaging buttons
If you’re running Messenger ads in a country where WhatsApp’s the most popular chatting tool, here’s a recent update you should know about:
Click-to-WhatsApp messaging buttons are now rolling out in Facebook ads.
This new feature is not yet available everywhere. Facebook started to roll it out starting first with North and South America, Africa, Australia and most of Asia.
12. You can now invoice buyers via PayPal’s Messenger extension
With thousands of eCommerce stores popping up every day, there war a significant pressure on Facebook to make the buying experience on their platform ever more pleasant.
The new PayPal chat extension allows a seller to create and send their invoice without leaving their conversation, so the buyer can act on it immediately.
Like other PayPal transactions, those taking place over Messenger are covered by PayPal Purchase Protection for Buyers.
Now that you’re aware of all the latest Facebook updates, head on to the Ads Manager, and put your new insights into good use.
Note: We’ll be updating this post as new Facebook features are launched on a quarterly basis, so keep coming back for more news!