Facebook Leaks Documents Revealing New Premium Ad Format

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Leaked documents about Facebook’s new Premium Ads, which are set to be released February 29, surfaced on tech news site GigoOm yesterday afternoon, and the company is boasting some fairly ambitious claims about the reach and impact of the new advertisement package.

Peter Corbett, CEO of iStrategyLabs, posted the documents in the format in which he received them.

The Facebook documents claim that the new premium ads will originate from Facebook Pages and will replace the current, classic premium ad format.

Facebook claims that posting on your page will allow you to reach out to your own fans, and that by making 1 post per day “into” your Ad will allow you to reach 3x to 5x as many fans. Facebook claims that “expanded” Premium Ads with a 20x-30x frequency will be able to reach friends and fans of target audiences.

This is yet another evolution that is indicative of the trend of social advertising, or advertising exclusively or primarily through network connections, a trend we’ve seen reinforced by Google’s recent “Search Plus Your World.”

The new Premium Ads boast improved performance and offer these statistics as proof

  • 40% increase in engagement;
  • 80% more likely to be remembered;
  • 16% increase in Fan Rate; and
  • “significant” increases in purchase intent.

Facebook is phasing out the Classic Premium Ad formats – premium like, premium event, video comment, and premium poll – starting on the same day as the rollout of the new ads, February 29.However, premium standard advertisements that link to destinations off Facebook will still be available, and marketplace ads will still be available. Only advertisements originating from Pages or Page content will be affected by the switch.

The new Premium Ads will work like this:

  • First, make a post on your Page (video, status update, photo, link, question, or event).
  • Second, promote it as an Ad. Anything you can post on your Page, you can turn into an Ad, and you can use the same targeting options you’ve become used to.
  • Third, whenever a fan has friends who are also fans of your page, the Ad will be enhanced withsocial context. For instance, if you and I are both fans of Coca-Cola, when you see the Ad, you’ll also see that I’m a fan of Coca-Cola. That’s what’s known as social context.
  • Fourth, when fans see the Ad, they’ll see an interface below that lets them like or comment directly on it.

And voila! Facebook’s reporting metrics won’t change, so you can still rely on getting all of that delicious data you’ve become so used to. Facebook also insists that you will continue to be able to reach non-fans with the upgraded advertisement format. “Ads and featured stories from Page posts allow you to reach anyone, just like with any ad,” claims one of the documents.

It’s also been recommended that if you want to continue using Like Ads to acquire fans that you transition to Marketplace Like Ads as an efficient alternative, although Photo Posts (one of the new formats) are more effective at driving fan acquisition, according to internal testing.

We’re excited to see changes in the current Facebook advertising format, which has approached MySpace-esque spam levels in the past year or so, but we’re skeptical to see if the “internally tested” numbers pan out once they hit the market. What are your thoughts?

You can read the full Facebook Premium Ads guide here.

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