Facebook gives businesses another reason to abandon websites
The company's immersive, full-page mobile ads or 'Canvas ads' now free for businesses
Facebook's fast-loading, immersive Canvas tool, which combines video, text, and photo slideshows in an interactive, scrolling format, isn't just for advertisers anymore.
The company is letting any business with a Page create Canvases for free, Facebook's VP of ads and business platform, Andrew "Boz" Bosworth, says.
Since Facebook launched the ads globally in February, people spend an average of 31 seconds in each one, which has driven over 100 years of time spent in Canvases total.
"It's a really cool experience," Bosworth says. "It's super quick — it feels a little like the future."
Facebook wants businesses to think of Pages as a replacement for building mobile-optimised websites. It has been adding new features and tools — like appointment scheduling and chat via Messenger — over the last year to encourage businesses to use it instead of putting time and effort into websites. Making this more immersive format available for free is a nice new addition.
Plus, to Facebook's benefit, there's a good chance that businesses that create a Canvas post that gets a lot of engagement will pay to increase its reach.
Organic Canvases, like regular Page posts, won't be given any extra weight in the News Feed algorithm.
"Really advanced admins could go nuts with [Canvas]," Bosworth says. "The sky's the limit."
How Apple convinced me that it’s finally time to try out Facebook’s chat app
Here's what it's like to shop the 'online dollar store'
Analysts think Google Maps could be the company's next US$1 billion business