Facebook is testing a new ad format that features multiple advertisers in one unit, bundling dynamic ad campaigns from two different companies in a side-by-side version of Facebook’s Collections ads.
A Facebook spokesperson told Digiday that the format is a small test that involves advertisers who have agreed to participate. The advertisers in the test are all eCommerce and retail businesses. During the test, the ads are only appearing in the US, UK and Canada.
“We are conducting a small test that groups product recommendations from different advertisers into a single experience. We will evaluate if it creates value for people and businesses before deciding whether to expand it,” said Mary Haile, Facebook’s product marketing manager.
For media buyers with retail clients, the format is appealing especially if it’s cheaper in comparison to other ads in Facebook’s News Feed. Indeed, Facebook’s traditional ad units have gotten more expensive over the years and driven brands to look into still-new Facebook Stories, Instagram and Snapchat. But despite the prices increases, brands, especially direct-to-consumer startups, have credited Facebook ads to their rise.
“If the CPM prices are cheaper than the traditional ads, this could be a great solution to drive cheaper impressions as well as give Facebook more ad inventory space,” said Troy Osinoff, co-founder of digital agency Juice.
One thing the retailers will need to give up: control. In the test, Facebook doesn’t let brands to dictate the other brands they appear with.