Facebook Is Letting Brands Build Slideshow Ads Right From Their Mobile Phones

Upgrades Tools for Ads on-the-Go

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On Facebook, slideshow ads are getting easier to build for mobile marketers.

On Tuesday, the social network launched tools for creating these moving-image ads, including the ability for marketers to create them right from their mobile Facebook pages. Slideshows are basically video ads, but use still images to string together a story.

Facebook launched slideshow ads last year, but the company just upgraded them with the creation tool directly from the mobile app. New features allow advertisers to add text and music. There's also a way to automatically convert a video into a slideshow.

"Mobile creation of advertising is a trend we see continuing," said Graham Mudd, ad product marketing lead at Facebook.

Facebook is just one of a number of platforms making it so marketers control campaigns on-the-go, mostly through apps. Of Facebook's more than 3 million advertisers, 40% have built ads on mobile devices, the company said. Also, 85% of marketers are using mobile devices to manage their Facebook business pages.

As for slideshow ads, those are mostly meant for small business and international advertisers, Mr. Mudd said.

"The thinking here is that there are quite a few markets in which video doesn't work well," Mr. Mudd said, meaning the communication networks and devices handle lower data speeds.

The slideshows use five times less data, according to Facebook.

Marketers like Corinna Graham, manager of content marketing and social media at the Boston Museum of Science, are crafting more and more campaigns on mobile devices.

"I boost posts from my phone all the time," Ms. Graham said. "And any content we're building on Facebook I assume people will be seeing it on mobile."

The museum's Facebook traffic is 72% mobile. The Museum of Science has played around with slideshow posts already, among other newer formats like 360 video.

Slideshows can generate 5,000 to 8,000 views by just using $15 to promote them, Ms. Graham said.

The format has been embraced by some international advertisers because they are multimedia that can play on slower networks, Mr. Mudd said.

"We've found that more than 50% of advertisers who use slideshow for the first time have never done video advertising," Mr. Mudd said. "This makes it easier to use for advertisers that don't have video assets."

The brands can use their own images and draw from Facebook's stock photo library to build the slideshows. A Spanish fabrics company called Brava said that consumers who viewed its slideshow ads were 35% more likely to buy its products than people who had not seen them, according to Facebook's announcement of the new slideshow tools.

Slideshows are becoming a familiar format on Facebook. They start automatically like videos posted by users. The slideshows typically play with the sound off, which is why marketers and publishers are using text in these posts.

"Text is a powerful way to drive engagement and attention from consumers," Mr. Mudd said.

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