What’s so special about Facebook’s new advertising plan?  Our intern Katie gives us the details.

Facebook’s new streamlined advertising plan is a definite game-changer for the popular social media site.  In a June 6 blog post, Facebook announced that it would be reducing the number of ad units from 27 to less than half of that number.

The reasoning is simple: advertisers found the Facebook ad packages too complicated to implement.  Facebook also felt that there were redundancies in the ad offerings, such as the ability to post questions in both a regular post format and as polls.

4According to CNBC, Facebook also desires to use a more solution-oriented ad strategy, kicking the plain product showcasing to the curb.  Theoretically, an advertiser will be able to express the desired effect of their ads, like app installations or in-store sales, and Facebook will be able to customize their ad product package.  In addition, all ads will now be social, meaning that targeted consumers can see if their friends have viewed or “Liked” the sponsor’s page.

Do these changes matter? 24/7 Wall Street says absolutely not.  A post on their blog insists that regardless of any minor interface or offering changes, Facebook still controls over a quarter of all display advertising in the United States.

In addition, Ben Bajarin, a critic of Facebook in general, wrote for Time about his frustration with Facebook advertising.  He claims that a social media website designed to keep friends and family in touch is not the appropriate place for sponsored advertising.  “The problem with Facebook, and the ads within it, is that the audience is so diverse that it’s hard to target an audience as well as a topical magazine can, for example,” he wrote.

03facebook.xlarge1Regardless of the less-than-explosive impact of these changes, and some user frustration with advertiser presence on the site, the streamlined advertising will simplify ad purchasing for sponsors.  The important aspect is that Facebook has decided to eliminate some types of ads, like polls and offers.  The intention is ultimately to improve consistency, reduce redundancy, and increase ads’ social context, according to Fidji Simo, the Facebook blogger responsible for the update.

In conclusion, Facebook has still successfully moved forward in the age of digital advertising.  It will be interesting to see what the new advertising offers will look like on our Timelines!