Facebook Ads Changes: Link Share Images Getting BIGGER

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[The following is a guest post by Andrew Foxwell.]

Just when you were getting used to the new Promoted Posts in the News Feed, they are changing again…

Now, before you get annoyed let me tell you: They are changing for the better (on September 10th)!

What is the Change?

Facebook recently sent out an announcement to their managed accounts indicating that there will be several changes applied to Facebook ads effective September 10. Most of these changes are small, but possibly the most important involves link share ads.

If you share a link from your Facebook page or create a linked page post advertisement, it will feature a much larger image than before.

As we know, link posts traditionally look like the example below…

facebook unpublished link post Facebook Ads Changes: Link Share Images Getting BIGGER

They feature an image size of 154 x 154px and a text limit of 500. So, when looking at the current link post ad, there are a few benefits of a link post ad.

See how many different customization areas there are? You have:

  • A description which allows for another link and some text
  • An image
  • A link title
  • A masked URL
  • Another link description

[NOTE: All of these things can be customized when creating an Unpublished Post.]

That’s a lot of customization areas, which is great for marketers.

Traditionally in tests that I’ve done, linked page post ads work quite well, but not as well as photo posts. So, I believe Facebook realized this and made the change to enlarge the image on the link post ad unit and make the entire thing clickable through to your website.

Check out the new link post as it will soon appear in your News Feed.

facebook unpublished link post clickable Facebook Ads Changes: Link Share Images Getting BIGGER

Notice it has all the customization of the link post above and a larger image like the photo post.

So, in order to get ready for this great ad unit, here are the creative specifications you’ll need:

  • Text: 500 characters, remainder truncated
  • Link title, domain and description:
    • Title: 1-2 lines (depending on length)
    • Domain link: 1 line
    • Description: 2-3 lines (depending on title length)
  • Image aspect ratio: 1.91:1
  • Image specs in ad: 400×209 px
  • If the uploaded image is smaller than 400×209 px, then it will render as 154×154 or 90×90 px (the largest available size)

What’s the Benefit to Advertisers?

In the recent months leading up to this point, we have seen the introduction of promoted posts in the News Feed, which allows us to get in front of users in one of the most valuable places on the internet.

Then, we saw a fantastic development in the release of unpublished posts (those that aren’t live on the brand page), that allow us to multivariate test images, creative and audience to ensure we are optimizing campaigns in a way that is systematic and logical for the best results.

Since the introduction of these ad units, I’m sure we’ll all say our ads have improved. For example, a “good” CTR on the right-hand-side for ads was .045%. Now, in the News Feed, we are looking at a “good” CTR of 1.5-2.5%+! What a change we’ve witnessed.

However, we’ve also noticed downsides.

If you’re running photo posts or unpublished photo posts (which are the best conversion drivers on Facebook), you don’t get as many customization options as you’d get with a linked page post. With an unpublished photo post, you also ONLY get a description box where your text goes. Something like…

“My product will change your LIFE.
—-> Buy It NOW shortlink.com /tejknjsdf”

This little text description is nice, but wouldn’t you love more customization? ME, TOO. 

Also, you may have noticed if you’re running photo posts, in the new Facebook reporting it shows how many people have clicked your image to enlarge it. It’s one of the most popular things people do with unpublished photo posts, because if something is in your News Feed, why wouldn’t you click it?

facebook ad reports edit columns 700x373 Facebook Ads Changes: Link Share Images Getting BIGGER

So, this change by Facebook finally rids us of this wasteful click problem.

How Do I Create These New Posts?

First, go to Power Editor (if you aren’t familiar with this tool, make sure to sign up for Jon’s training program!).

Next, click on “Manage Pages” in the upper left-hand-corner drop down.

JL 1 Facebook Ads Changes: Link Share Images Getting BIGGER

Click “Create Post” next to the Manage Pages button. Then you get the option to create a link post, which you can do from this screen.

JL 2 300x349 Facebook Ads Changes: Link Share Images Getting BIGGER

And boom, you’re ready to go once you fill in the URL, post text, link headline, link caption and so on.

Let’s Recap

Linked page post ads or link shares are getting enlarged image sizes in the News Feed. This is great news! They are increasing from 154 x 154px to 400 x 209px. This change will apply to all ads or link shares created after September 10th, 2013.

What do you think of these changes? Let me know in the comments below!

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About Andrew Foxwell

Andrew Foxwell grew up on a farm in Wisconsin, loves to wear flannel, and would gladly spend the majority of his days kayaking. Following college, he worked as a Windows Server Engineer and then moved into politics (and on to Washington, DC) as a Press Secretary/Digital Director for a U.S. Member of Congress. Following his work on the Congressman's staff, he joined the communications firm iConstituent and there founded the largest social media agency for Members of Congress, eventually working with over 100 Congressional representatives. He currently works at a Silicon Valley-based online ad agency, PPC Associates, directing their social division.

  • Norman Crenshaw

    Great news Jon! Will be testing this on Sept 10. It should really help with the ctr on these posts!

  • http://sociallysmashing.com/ Nicole Jolie

    Great Article Andrew!! Thanks Jon for giving value. The ads have been doing very well in the newsfeed. I’ve seen CTR’s as high as 8-10% on some things I’ve been privy too and my personal ads have had a pretty high CTR% of 2.5-5%. FB still has a problem with the Mobile aspect in relation to the apps/tabs that we can drive traffic to so people stay on FB; I wish they’d change that aspect because the ?ref=ts doesn’t work anymore when doing a workaround on your tabs…or so it seems.

    On another note re: dark posts….I’ve had some wonky stuff happen in PE when I’ve tried to do a dark post, it won’t upload into the campaign, but the campaign will load.

  • Bogdan Ch

    Good move. A bit disappointed about the strange image size they chose.. 400 x 209px? A lot of designers should be getting ready for lot’s of work :)

  • FB Master

    You actually can create unpublished page posts directly from the power editor now. Just change your ad type to an Ad for a Facebook page using a Page post, and then select “create new unpublished page post.” This has been available for a while now.

    • Steve

      Is there a way to change an unpublished post after you have “posted” it?

  • Julia Thomas

    Interesting! Do you think this will filter down to also change the way organic links shared on FB appear?

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      It should actually apply to both.

  • Patrick Alban

    This idea has great potential, but unfortunately, as with much connected with Facebook, I cannot get it to work as advertised. In my ad preview, the Link Caption and Description are not visible. I don’t know of a way to verify whether the preview or the ad is wrong, so I can’t run my ad.

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      You can manually change these things when creating an unpublished post.

  • Netclem

    Hey there!

    Thanks for sharing this, it’s a pretty big news for our sharing habits.
    However, I’m not aware of the screen you shared with the ability to custom your report tables. Where did you find that?

    Thanks!

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      That’s the Edit Columns button. If you don’t have it, you probably have the old ad reports. You’re clicking on the Reports link on the left in Ads Manager?

  • Alexander Schmidt

    This means that I have to resize “my” og:images, right?

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Only if you want them optimized. Facebook will otherwise crop/resize. I don’t know that it’s worth the time right now since these changes aren’t fully rolled out.

  • Brenda

    Great article and thanks for the heads up! Where do you find this information from Facebook? What is the source?

  • Boaz

    Thanks for the article. I created a new unpublished post in the editor, and all I did different is not include the caption, and upload a 400×209 image. Then I created an ad for it as usual. When I preview the link post ad on the ads manager, I get the “old” small square image version, so my new larger image doesn’t fit. Do you know if this is just a preview bug, or does it mean my account does not support this? I did get a notification in the ads manager that the ad formats were updated.
    Thanks again.

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