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Facebook introduces Canvas ads on mobile

The full screen ad experience is built to bring brands and products to life on mobile, leading to an engaging and impressive experience

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Mumbai | February 29, 2016

FacebookOf late consumer behavior patterns have shown that a lot of the time that people spend online and on a great many apps, including Facebook, is on their mobile phones. Data shows that consumers discover content, brands and products on mobile apps. The realization is now inducing advertisers to look for new and creative ways of sharing information with their consumers on these applications.

Facebook is working towards its commitment of building a great mobile experience and in doing so, it opens up new and creative possibilities for advertisers. The company has invested in engaging experiences like video and the carousel format, empowering advertisers with more creative space to share their brand and products on mobile.

The challenge of being on a website on a mobile phone is that it often takes longer to load and is not always optimized for mobile, leading to a frustrating experience. Website pages are only growing in file size. In 2015, the average website page was three times bigger than it was in 2011 and slow loading time was a primary reason why people abandoned a website.

The facts are a pointer to why advertisers are looking for a better way to share information when consumers click on their ad. ‘Canvas’, developed by Facebook, makes that click a beautiful experience on a mobile phone, enabling consumers to take actions easily.

The conceptualization of a new approach to mobile advertising began about eighteen months ago. Since then, Facebook has embarked on a listening and learning tour. Creative teams at Facebook met other teams and specifically sought the perspective of the Creative Shop, their in-house team that collaborates closely with brands and agencies.

Since this team was on the front lines, the other teams wanted to understand what they were hearing and seeing from these companies -? what their pain points were - what they wished to do - and what Facebook could improve. The teams led brainstorms and white-boarding sessions with agencies and brands that were unconstrained by the limits of Facebook’s existing patterns.

Once those ideas were winnowed down and refined, they learned two key things from the exercise. The first realization was that brands were still trying to figure out mobile. The second realization that emerged from the exercise was that agency designers found Facebook too creatively restrictive.

To solve the problem, Facebook built Canvas - a new post-click, full-screen, immersive mobile ad experience on Facebook - that loads nearly instantaneously. Canvas was designed to help businesses tell stories and show products on mobile devices in a fine-looking way. Canvas is now available to advertisers around the world.

Canvas is a better way to communicate a brand story and promote products on mobile. It helps advertisers achieve their objectives by giving them a fully customizable digital space to build multimedia stories. Canvases open from Facebook ads in News Feed to reveal a full-screen experience where advertisers can use a mix of video, still images, text and call-to-action buttons to build beautiful and effective brand and product experiences on mobile.

Within a ‘Canvas’, people can enjoy moving through digital stories easily. They can swipe through a carousel of images, tilt to view panoramic images and zoom in to view images in detail, making the Canvas experience engaging in a way that mobile sites aren't. Canvas uses the same technology that makes photos and videos load quickly on Facebook, so it loads as much as ten times faster than the standard mobile web.

Commenting on the creation of Canvas, Chris Jones, Head of Creative Technology, Facebook Creative Shop, said, “We made the creative community a priority when we designed and built Canvas. It's a product that represents our commitment to creative craft and delivering the best mobile experience for businesses and people.”

Some brands that used Canvas:

  1. Burberry used Canvas to build a mobile-friendly and interactive holiday gift look book.
  2. Coca Cola built a Canvas that featured the newly launched special series of Aluminium Bottles. They reached nearly 16 million people and had an average view time of 18 seconds.
  3. ASUS created a Canvas with the theme “end bad gifts” during the 2015 holiday shopping season. They saw a 42 per cent increase in clicks on their ad and those who clicked into their Canvas, spent an average of 12 seconds viewing the content. Moreover, 70 per cent of the people who clicked on the Canvas ad went to the ASUS website after exploring the Canvas.
  4. L'Occitane created a Canvas telling people more about how they could source ingredients and how their products worked. The Canvas resulted in an 11 per cent increase in ad recall compared to link ads alone.
  5. Lowe's wanted to connect with aspirational young home-owners about easy and trendy home do-it-yourself projects. On an average people spent 28 seconds exploring their Canvas.

The Canvas Builder tool makes it easy for anyone to create a Canvas, provided one has Power Editor and publishing tools tab on their page. Canvas is a mobile-only experience and works on both Android and iOS. Advertisers with access to Power Editor can start creating Canvases now.

Here’s a sneak-peak to how brands used the Canvas:



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