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Facebook wants to become your local mall

Facebook loves ads. Ads are what have made Facebook the Silicon Valley giant it is today. Ads pay the bills, and any time Facebook expands into a new space, ads quickly follow. Recently, we’ve seen auto-playing video ads introduced across the Facebook platform and even inserted into your private conversations on Messenger. Well now, Facebook wants its ads to evolve, and is going to use AR (augmented reality) to help them do so. Think Snapchat filters, but for products you might want to buy.

Augmented Reality ads to try on products in Facebook
Soon you’ll be able to try on products in your Facebook News Feed

Facebook has already begun testing these new ads in the U.S. with Michael Kors sunglasses. The ads pop up in people’s News Feed and allow users to try on the sunglasses virtually using the AR filters. Other brands that will start implementing AR ads later this summer include Sephora, Bobbi Brown, Pottery Barn, Wayfair, and King.

At a launch event, Facebook’s global marketing solutions vice president of product marketing, Ty Ahmad-Taylor, described the ads as akin to trying on clothes in a store. He said:

“People traditionally have to go into stores to do this… People still really love that experience, but they would like to try it at home.”

He added this new type of ad,

“bridges the gap.”

In short, Facebook wants to become your local mall

These new AR powered ads appear completely normal in the News Feed, but they have a special Tap to try it on button, which opens up the AR features.

Since the Cambridge Analytica scandal has hit Facebook’s credibility hard, the social media company has refrained from moving into new spaces like a Facebook smart speaker, for example. This means Facebook is relying on ad innovation across its current products to maintain growth. As well as these new AR ads, Facebook also announced a new Video Creation Kit for advertisers, which will give advertisers access to a much more engaging template for ads on mobile.

These new ads seem fun and could be very effective. Do you think you’ll be persuaded to try something if you see the “Tap to try it on” button in the future?

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