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Social media ad updates from Instagram, Facebook, and Meta in Q4 2022

Months of slow ad spending and an uncertain economy led Meta to lay off more than 11,000 employees in early November—the first major job cuts in the company’s history. Though Meta’s sheer size makes it a platform that advertisers can’t afford to ignore, the titan of advertising’s throne has never sat on shakier ground.

Meta’s ad revenues will decline for the first time everin 2022. Just seven months ago, we predicted that Meta’s global ad revenues would grow by 12.4% this year. But we now expect its ad revenues will drop by 2%, or $2.25 billion, by the end of 2022.

Automation is Meta’s bet to increase the performance of ads across its ecosystem. In Q4, the company released new ad formats and placements for Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger powered by machine learning.

Meta rolls out Advantage+ campaigns

Meta’s Advantage+ shopping campaigns use machine learning to reach and target shoppers. The automated tool creates up to 150 creative assets and chooses the option that will perform the best.

Advertisers no longer need to rely on manual targeting on Meta’s properties. Changes in user data collection processes have hampered advertisers’ ability to effectively target and track their campaigns. Advantage+ may help improve the effectiveness of Meta ads as it relies on already-available data, but advertisers must be willing to fork over more control to Meta.

Meta launches Advantage Custom Audience

It’s an automated version of “lookalike audiences.” Advantage Custom Audiences uses an advertiser’s “custom audience” to reach new and existing customers available through the Advantage ad suite.

Meta adds Instagram audience targeting options

Meta rolled out the ability to customize campaigns to specifically target a brand’s Instagram followers. While the feature has been available for Facebook followers for some time, brands lacked the option to target their Instagram audiences, which can be different from their Facebook audiences.

Meta has launched a test of two new ad options for Facebook Reels:

  • Post-loop ads: 4- to 10-second skippable video ads that play once a Reel has ended. Once the ad finishes playing, the original Reel starts playing again.
  • Image carousel ads: Horizontally scrollable ads that include two to 10 images shown at the bottom of a Reel.

Meta has introduced four new ad formats for Instagram:

  • Ads in Explore home: Ads that appear on the homepage of the personalized Explore tab.
  • In-profile ads: Ads displayed on the feed that appears when a user visits another account’s profile and clicks on a post. (In-profile ads are still in beta.)
  • Multi-advertiser ads: AI-powered carousel ads that appear underneath an ad that a user has engaged with.
  • Augmented reality (AR) ads: Feed and Stories ads that allow brands to use AR effects, like a 3D rendering of furniture in a room. (AR ads are still in beta.)