Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads in the Right-Hand Column to Look More Like News Feed

In April, Facebook announced major changes to the way ads displayed in the right-hand column (sidebar). Those changes began rolling out this week and users will soon be seeing larger ads in the sidebar. In this post we’ll review the change and help you plan out your next steps.

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How Sidebar Ads Used To Look

Up until this week, ads in the right hand column would only display with a small thumbnail 100x72 image on the left with ad copy on the right. Because they’re so compact, you could see as many as 7 of these ads at one time which led to high impressions with low engagement, relative to other ad types.

Facebook profile with the old sidebar ads

The New Sidebar Ads

Now, you’ll begin seeing ads in the sidebar with much bigger images (up to 3x) with the headline and description below it. The idea is that sidebar ads will be similar to your news feed ads, but with scaled down images.

Facebook profile with new ad format for the right hand column

New Image Specs

Here’s how images will displayed in the new format:

  • Offers, Desktop Apps, Links (tied to a Page), Domains (no Page)
    • News Feed images:1200x627
    • Sidebar images: 245x133
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.91:1
  • Video ads
    • News Feed images: 1200x675
    • Sidebar images: 245x143
    • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Page Like and Event ads
    • News Feed images: 1200x444
    • Sidebar images: 254x94
    • Aspect Ratio: 2.7:1
  • Photo Ads
    • News Feed images: 1200x900
    • Sidebar images: 254x133
    • Aspect Ratio: varies

How This Impacts You

This change makes sidebar ads more similar to the high-performing news feed ads and Facebook reports they’ve seen increased engagement for advertisers. It also means fewer ads will display in the sidebar so you can expect fewer impressions from your ads in the sidebar as well as higher CPM costs. Still, the higher engagement rates should make up for this.

Your Next Steps

If you’re running ads with 100x72 images in the sidebar now, they’ll continue display until September 1 when all sidebar ads will switch to the larger format exclusively. When you create new ads however, you can optimize them for the newsfeed placement and trust that they maintain the aspect ratio when scaled down for the sidebar.

For more about advertising on Facebook, check out our Guide to Facebook Ads.

AdStage Team