Facebook ads aren’t being embraced by most users, but advanced new augmented reality (AR) ads could actually prove to be an enjoyable part of the user experience on the social media platform. In an official Facebook Business blog post, the firm announced the introduction of new AR ads that they believe will help businesses engage with customers in new ways and drive sales online.
Forbes reports that select users in the US are already trying these ads, which can be thought of as being like a virtual fitting room. If a person sees a clothing ad, for example, they can try the garments on that interest them virtually.
A shirt ad might give users the option to “Tap to Try On”. They can then click on it, at which point Facebook will access the camera in their phone to allow them to try out the advertised shirts to get an idea of how they will look with their particular body shape and colouring. Those who are satisfied with the results can go on to complete their purchase, and they can even opt to add the pictures to their Facebook Stories.
It’s not just clothing that will use this type of ad; they’ll also be offered for cosmetics, giving users the chance to see if a particular lipstick or eye shadow shade will be flattering with their features. It will also be used for furniture, enabling people to envision how certain objects of home décor might look with their rooms’ particular layouts and existing furniture.
The first company to test AR ads in the News Feed was Michael Kors, who enabled users to try on sunglasses. Sephora will be added later this summer, and they say gaming and entertainment brands will also join the program by the end of the year. Other brands that are already on board include Pottery Barn, Wayfair, NYX Professional Makeup, and Bobbi Brown.
Facebook expanding shopping and AR offerings
Since acquiring the AR face filter app MSQRD two years ago Facebook has been adding filters to its main platform as well as Instagram and Messenger. Incorporating augmented reality into its advertisements is a logical progression of that partnership – and one that could well pay off quite nicely for the firm.
Facebook-owned Instagram is also expanding its shopping options. They’ve recently allowed brands and businesses to tag their products on Instagram Stories; this was previously limited just to tagging products in the feed.
Facebook hasn’t provided a specific date for when the new AR ad feature will be officially launched to all users.