Facebook has introduced a new offering for display advertisers on mobile – Canvas – which allows users to click and expand advertisements into full-screen.
The announcement comes not long after the social network’s Q4 2015 financial report, which attributed 80% of ad revenue to mobile display – roughly $4.6 billion – as a result of 1.44 billion active mobile users.
The functionality of the ads with ‘tap to open’ prompt will deliver users an interactive mix of “video, still images, text and call-to-action buttons,” Facebook says.
Challenging the issue of ad-obtrusiveness is one of Facebook’s intentions with Canvas – the audience see normal ads unless opting in – while another is shortening loading times associated with re-directs to brand homepages.
That, of course, means that users are less likely to stray from Facebook’s news feed, and are thus able to consume more advertising among their updates.
Facebook reports a positive response from trials so far with users spending an average of 31 seconds per ad, and over 53% are viewing more than half of the Canvas advertisement.
This format represents an evolution of the social network’s Carousel ads, which allowed advertisers to include multiple segments of inventory, where further information or images could be accessed on swipe.
Early tests among clients ASUS and L’Occitane saw an increase in clicks of 42% and increased ad recall of 11% respectively, although it remains to be seen how effective Canvas will be if the format becomes widely adopted.
Facebook claims that the ads are straightforward to create with its Power Editor, which doesn’t require the advertiser to provide any coding. Canvas is currently only available on Android and iOS devices.