Mets Previews New AR and Shopping Ads at NewFronts

Meta has previewed some new AR and Reels ad options, which will help brands tap into the popularity of each format, while it’s also looking to continue building its in-stream commerce tools, as part of a resurgence of its in-app shopping efforts.

Meta made the announcements at IAB Newfronts today, where it also shared a range of performance insights on its latest ad tools, including its improving Advantage+ campaign options, which are powered by AI, and are generating good results for many brands.  

First off, on AR ads – Meta’s launching new AR ad types across Instagram Reels and Facebook Stories, which will provide another way for brands to engage users with its more immersive ad formats.

Meta AR ads

As reported by TechCrunch:

Sephora was able to test AR Reels ads ahead of this launch, where it ran an ad that had users press their thumb to the screen to generate an ‘aura vibe’ filter to help them pick the best-fitting fragrance and make a purchase. The company said over half of the ad’s audience was Gen Z users.”

That’s a key consideration, with next-level ad formats like AR holding more appeal with younger consumers, specifically. But they could also be novel for older audiences as well, and with more places to share AR promotions, it could be another step in facilitating broader adoption of advanced ad displays, leading into the next phase of consumption.

Which could, at least theoretically, include AR glasses, which are currently in development at Meta, Apple and (maybe) Snapchat. Some reports have suggested that Snap has had to scale back its efforts to produce AR-enabled Spectacles due to cost-cutting measures, but even so, it remains a leader in the AR space, and will likely be an important player in the broader adoption of interactive digital experiences.

And you can expect to see a lot more of them. While AR is a more high-end ad option, it’s becoming more accessible, via templates and tools that facilitate AR creation.

And as Meta looks forward to its next-level experiences, and bridging the gap to the metaverse, AR will likely play a key role in guiding users into new digital worlds.

Meta’s also announced new Reels ad options, including larger CTA buttons on screen, and product carousels that will enable brands to showcase various items in one clip.

Meta Reels ads

The new display options are similar to TikTok ads, or at least, the ad formats available on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok.

Douyin shopping

TikTok’s been looking to integrate more of these formats into TikTok as well, and it’s interesting to see Meta looking to beat them to the punch with some more advanced displays within Reels.

The new display options will provide more ways for brands to tap into the popularity of Reels, which is Meta’s fastest-growing content format, which could also prompt more shopping activity in-stream – another key focus for the company.

Meta was forced to scale back some of its in-stream shopping elements, like the Instagram ‘Shop’ tab, as a result of limited user engagement and broader cost reduction measures. But more recently, Meta has been re-focusing on shopping, with new projects that will facilitate expanded use of UGC in product displays, and the direct integration of product catalogs to fuel Facebook and Instagram shops.

That could get more people browsing and buying in its apps, in new ways.

The addition of product carousels in Reels is in line with this new commerce push, which is less direct, and less intrusive. But could actually lead to a more organic, integrated in-app shopping experience.

Finally, Meta also outlined its latest third-party measurement partnerships, which will now provide insight into Reels Ads campaigns, adding more assurance for ad partners. Double Verify, IAS, and MOAT will now have direct insight into Reels performance, while Meta’s looking to build on this with more data to confirm Reels promotion data and resonance.

Some interesting considerations, which will provide more ways to engage Facebook and IG consumers, across the most popular content formats.

The new ad options will be rolling out over the coming months.

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