Facebook Lead Forms No Longer Available with Instant Experience

Things change quickly. Usually, I have the pleasure of writing about new Facebook Advertising features. Unfortunately, this post is about the removal of a feature.

Facebook has deprecated the feature allowing for the combination of Lead Forms paired with Instant Experiences. As part of this, the advertising goals available for Lead Forms have also changed.

What Has Changed

In a help center article related to Lead Ads and Instant Experiences, Facebook has shared that all ads using Lead Forms now can only be paired with the Lead Generation objective.

Here is Facebook’s update message from the help center:

Lead Forms Instant Experience Deprecation

What This Means

  • For all ads that utilize Lead Forms, you can only use the Lead Generation objective to create and run these ads. You can not use any other objective for these ads.
  • Lead Forms can not be embedded within an Instant Experience. You can not link to a Lead Form within an Instant Experience.
  • Any campaigns you have already running using this feature will stop delivering on December 13th (2019).

Why This Matters

There are cases where using other advertising objectives could be beneficial.

First, Lead Generation may not be the primary goal for an advertiser. The ability to use other objectives could be more important.

Second, an advertiser might primarily focus on a creative message (delivered through an Instant Experience). Lead generation may only be a secondary consideration.

Unfortunately, advertisers will no longer be able to optimize for other variables when using a lead form – at least not directly within Facebook’s optimization system.

Of course, an advertiser could still focus on driving a creative message in a video or image and link from that to a lead form. However, the automatic optimization that Facebook delivers will no longer consider anything other than Lead Generation.

Why Did Facebook Make this Change?

As with many recent changes, I imagine this might be due to a few advertisers messing things up. Facebook is simply implementing systems that allow their oversight to be more streamlined.

As we have seen previously, Lead Forms can be an incredibly effective feature for gathering a large amount of signups in very little time. Potentially, Facebook wants to more actively monitor the gathering of data.

It’s possible that Facebook’s forced adherence to the Lead Generation campaign objective enables more effective monitoring for these types of ads, as they would not need to consider other potential objectives when they review the usage of Lead Forms across their platform.

In any case, it would be great to see the return of this feature in the future. For now, advertisers will need to adjust their campaign structures accordingly.

Are There Any Other Options?

As far as I’ve seen, there are no ways to circumvent this requirement, as Facebook has fully deprecated the feature. The bottom line: if you are using a Lead Form, you can only use the Lead Generation objective to run an ad associated with the form.

In testing, I attempted to create a Brand Awareness objective campaign, using an existing post that utilized a Lead Form. I received an error message like this:

Lead Form Error Message - Brand Awareness

Additionally, when selecting the Lead Generation objective, I’m only seeing the option to optimize for Leads:

Lead Generation Objective Optimization Options

What Now?

While the integration with Instant Experiences is no longer available, there are still opportunities to continue improving the effectiveness of Lead Ads. In particular, we’ve seen advertisers report success when adding Instagram as a placement for Lead Generation campaigns (in addition to many other campaign types!)

Your Turn

What are some creative ways you have used Lead Forms, or any other advertising options on Facebook or Instagram, to build your customer lists?

Let us know in the comments below!