Ty Ahmad-Taylor, VP of Product Marketing for Facebook, who announced updates to Facebook’s “Here for the Holidays” event for some 200 marketing professionals, said the AR ads and shopping features would not cost advertisers anything extra and would be sold through the Facebook auction like any other advertising format.
“As retailers prepare for their biggest shopping season of the year, we are excited to launch new products that will help them excite, inspire and ultimately increase sales,” he said.
For AR ads in Newsfeed, Facebook will begin testing AR ads with companies from multiple segments this summer, with the goal of adding more companies throughout the year. Wayfair, Sephora, Pottery Barn, NYX Professional Makeup, Bobby Brown and King have all signed up. Michael Kors was the first company selected to test AR ads in Newsfeed with an ad that allows people to try on sunglasses and buy them directly from the ad.
Shopping with Instagram Stories is currently in beta to select advertisers such as Old Navy and Gap, but will be open to all companies well before the holidays.
The event’s marketing specialists were enthusiastic about the updates.
Jess Jacobs, Marketing Director at Wayfair, who spoke at a panel at the event about the company’s holiday Facebook strategy, said Wayfair sees AR as a key way for the company to reach customers and Facebook’s new AR ads will help bring people to the company’s own AR properties and plans to use the new ads in the coming weeks to promote Wayfair’s AR app.
Kelsey Vandenlip, Senior Manager of Brand and Strategy at Away, who also participated in the panel, said the director-to-consumer baggage company is particularly interested in the expanded shopping opportunities in Instagram Stories. Away is not part of the original beta group, so it’s “hard not to use the shopping features,” Vanderlip said.