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8/29/2014
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Facebook News Feeds To Get Event Ads

Facebook's newest ad unit lets businesses promote events within users' news feeds. Here's what to expect.

Facebook Privacy: 10 Settings To Check
Facebook Privacy: 10 Settings To Check
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Facebook announced a new type of ad this week to help businesses more effectively promote events. Event ads were traditionally displayed in the right-hand column of Facebook's desktop version, but the new ad unit will promote events within users' news feeds, the company said.

Facebook's events feature is used by more than 400 million people across the world, according to the social network. Nearly 30% of these events are created by Pages. This new ad unit, plus event insights, will give businesses more details about how effectively they're reaching their audience, Facebook said.

Event ads both on desktop and mobile will display a Sponsored tag below the event name to distinguish it from unpaid events. Like other events, the ad will also show the event details, and include buttons to like the Page and event, comment on it, and share it.

[Popular social apps may track your every move. Read Location Tracking: 6 Social App Settings To Check.]

Page owners have two ways to create event ads: either by using the Ad Create tool, or the Power Editor. You can expect to see these new ads in the coming weeks, Facebook said.

Facebook will also launch an event insights dashboard, which Page admins can view in the right-hand column of an event page. You'll see stats on the number of people who have seen a link to the event on Facebook, the number of people who have viewed it, and the number of joins, saves, and maybes that the event has received.

In addition to the changes for Pages and advertisers, events got a facelift on the user end, too. Aside from a cleaner look that displays the events you were invited to, saved, and are hosting, you'll see suggested events based on information such as the Pages you like, your location, and the day of the week.

Facebook hints that these changes to events are the first of more to come, but did not disclose what users might see in the future.

Moving event ads from the right-hand column to users' news feeds frees up more-expensive ad real estate. In June, Facebook announced a redesigned ad format on the right-hand side that advertisers could expect to pay more for, since Facebook planned to serve fewer ads in this location.

"The redesign of right-hand column ads is part of an ongoing initiative to improve our ads in general," Facebook said at the time. "These results suggest that we're on the right path: People are finding the new right-hand column ads more engaging and advertisers, therefore, are getting more value for their ad impressions."

Facebook recently made improvements to ads on the user end, too. Earlier this year, Facebook launched a new feature that details why you see certain ads and lets you adjust topics of interest.

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Kristin Burnham currently serves as InformationWeek.com's Senior Editor, covering social media, social business, IT leadership and IT careers. Prior to joining InformationWeek in July 2013, she served in a number of roles at CIO magazine and CIO.com, most recently as senior ... View Full Bio

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Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
8/30/2014 | 9:55:10 PM
Re: Event advertising
@Henrisha: I'm not convinced that FB is going about monetizing event ads in the proper way, though.

For instance, to be specific, the event I was specifically interested in that FB advertised to me was an upcoming gig by comedienne Amy Schumer.

Why not sell tickets for some of these events online through the event process?  Then, not only is the client getting a better idea of how well the event ads are working, but Facebook is getting a direct commission/cut.

But then, Facebook perhaps prefers that they get a significant payday that isn't tied to performance, given their purported track record/public controversies about their practices...
Henrisha
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Henrisha,
User Rank: Strategist
8/30/2014 | 1:54:48 PM
Re: Sounds promising
I'm interested to see the turnout and conversion sponsored Events will get. It's nice to see Facebook find more ways to monetize; perhaps soon they will move past "Sponsored" posts/events to generate income.

This is definitely better than charging users to get messages into someone's inbox if they are not directly connected. I really dislike how they went about monetizing messages.
Henrisha
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Henrisha,
User Rank: Strategist
8/30/2014 | 1:53:22 PM
Re: Event advertising
It seems like Facebook still hasn't found what they're looking for--which is a way to monetize without turning off users and to keep advertisers hooked as well. Sponsored posts haven't been as big of a hit as they have probably hoped. Time will tell with Event ads.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
8/29/2014 | 10:34:13 PM
Event advertising
I'm not complaining.  The events that get advertised to me are exponentially more relevant to me than the events my Facebook friends invite me to.

They're also way more relevant to me than "regular" Facebook ads.  For some reason, Facebook is convinced that I'd be interested in taking classes in woodworking and motorcycle repair, donating sperm, and buying major enterprise software.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
8/29/2014 | 10:31:05 PM
Re: Sounds promising
FWIW, I actually have had an event advertised to me on Facebook that I would be interested in if not for the particular venue.
H@mmy
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H@mmy,
User Rank: Ninja
8/29/2014 | 4:31:45 PM
ad display
My concern is like other ads, will this ad also be targeted to people sharing interests similar to event type ?
H@mmy
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H@mmy,
User Rank: Ninja
8/29/2014 | 4:29:31 PM
Re: Sounds promising
The new event ad seems to be very helpful for event organizers. This can come in handy to make your event more public. Seeing the stats that 30% events are created by pages, this seems to be a good news for events who draw lot of public via Facebook page.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
8/29/2014 | 4:14:46 PM
Sounds promising
If Facebook can offer some proof that event ads actually get people (who aren't friends) to come to events, this will be valuable service.
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