Our thoughts on Facebook’s new ‘View Ads’ feature

Facebook has once again sparked controversy this week after making it possible for businesses to see other businesses’ advertisements through their new ‘View Ads’ feature.

Basically, anybody can go to a business page on Facebook, click on their ‘Info and ads’ tab, and take a look at that brand’s current active ads.

Not only does it show you the advertisements themselves, but it also leads visitors to other related pages, making it much easier to check on the competitors of a certain brand.

But what does this transparency tool mean for advertisers and marketing teams in general? We talked to our social media experts here at DMT to find out how they feel about Facebook’s newest feature.

Matt Brown, Paid Social Manager:

“I know that viewable ads have sparked some concerns in the industry that brands’ advertising will become compromised and how it was a terrible move by Facebook. However, in my opinion, the concerns seem premature, as simply viewing a competitor’s ads wasn’t particularly hard in the first place. You just had to go on their site and wait to get retargeted. Viewable ads will make competition a lot fiercer and promote advertisers to think outside the box to stay ahead. Also, it is a great source of inspiration as now I can delve into any industry, especially ones I’ve never worked in and get a very strong idea on how ad funnels are setup and used. So, all in all, I am going to learn a lot from this update and my clients will benefit – what is not to like? Onward and upwards for the advertising industry!”

Ben Young, Commercial Manager:

“For me, the update by Facebook which allows people to see ads you currently have live is not great news. This makes it too easy for brands and social media agencies to be able to copy the ideas of companies who have invested time, money and effort to create ad campaigns and creative that work well. Great for new business, bad for retention.”

Kirsty Allen, Head of Creative:

The new feature is interesting from a creative point of view – it’s good to see what the big brands are doing and how they’re keeping up to date with the latest ad types.

Tim Sharp, Head of Design:

As a designer, I love Facebook’s new approach to clarity; to be able to see adverts that other brands are running in terms of design. This means that I can monitor trends within specific industries. For me, Facebook’s new setup is essentially a social mood board.

Facebook itself has responded to critics of the new feature, detailing the new tool on its Help Centre Page… 

Dubbed by some as having changed the advertising game forever, the View Ads feature shouldn’t be ignored. Love it or hate it, the new transparency tool is here to stay.

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