A Year In Review: Facebook Advertising Changes in 2017

The times they are a changin’. 2017 has been another huge year for Facebook and the 6 Million Advertisers that now utilise their advertising suite. This article covers some of the major Facebook Advertising changes that have impacted advertisers in 2017 and are likely to influence strategies as we head into 2018.

The areas that we’re going to cover in this article include:

  1. Transparency changes and updates at Facebook
  2. Facebook Messenger Bots and Messenger Advertising
  3. Facebook Advertising Price Increases
  4. Updates to the Facebook Ads Manager console
  5. New tracking options and data management
  6. Changes to objectives and optimisation

Transparency changes and updates at Facebook

2017 has been a pivotal year when it comes to the issue of transparency. It first came to light when Facebook were investigated for a Russian agency’s role using Facebook to advertise divisive issues in the lead up to and during the US Election. This lead to some widespread negative press, congressional hearings and forced Facebook to update their advertising policies to better show users how they are getting targeted with Facebook Advertising.

It first rolled out to political campaigns that showed users which ads they were running, how much they were paying and who they were targeting with their campaigns. In November Facebook introduced a lighter version of this to all pages to show complete transparency on every ad, regardless of whether the user is in the target audience or not.

Facebook Messenger Bots and Advertising

Facebook Messenger quickly tipped over the 1.2 Billion users per month stage and entered the top 3 messaging apps used by people around the world.

In 2017 Facebook introduced the Facebook Messenger advertising placement and the Messenger destination ads that took people directly to a conversation with the brand in their Facebook Messenger app.

The ease of creating these new conversations lead to the rise of Messenger Bots that allowed users to have the initial stages of a conversation with a bot to seek quick answers to queries they had. The integration of Facebook Messenger bots allows a huge range of capabilities on the platform that is only limited by advertiser’s creativeness.

Resources: Creating Facebook Messenger Ads

Facebook Advertising Price Increases

Facebook continues to gain popularity every year. In 12 months from September 2016 to September 2017 the amount of advertisers on the platform grew from 5 Million to 6 Million. But considering there are 90 Million Facebook pages, there are still plenty of page managers not yet utilising the advertising options.

As the platform has become more popular and more money is spent, it’s outgrown the growth rate of the overall user base and this creates a supply and demand issue for advertising space. The competitiveness and Facebook ’s strict advertising policies and principles mean that the average price per sale has increased drastically during 2017.

In Q3 of 2017, the average price per Facebook Ad increased 35%.Click To Tweet

Market forces such as major sales and promotional days also affect this price rise but Facebook Advertising will never be as cheap as it is right now.

Resources: How much should you spend on Facebook Ads?

Updates to the Facebook Ads Manager console

Facebook made some adjustments to the business manager console. This included updates such as:

Resources: Navigating Facebook Analytics 

New tracking options and data management

Facebook took its data management and tracking options to a whole new level in 2017. They make it easier than ever to show relevant ads to audiences that perform certain behaviours on Facebook, around the web AND in person. Facebook has outgrown the ‘cookie’ based tracking options and has positioned itself as a big data leader to make it easier than ever for marketers to better optimise their advertising dollars.

Facebook made the following updates to it’s tracking capabilities:

Resources: How to setup Facebook Custom Audiences

Changes to objectives optimisation

Another of Facebook’s changes that didn’t invite as much coverage but will make a big impact on advertising strategies are the changes to objective optimisation. Facebook made terminology and structure changes to help advertisers better understand how to get the results they’re looking for. These included:

Resources: Optimising Conversion Campaigns to get results

Now that we know where we’ve come from, it’s time to look forward to where we are headed. Stay tuned for our big 2018 Advertising predictions blog post. Going live next week to help you stay ahead of the game in 2018. Subscribe to be notified when its live!

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