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Facebook has a new type of video ad meant to get people shopping

The new ad attaches product pictures to videos you might watch in News Feed.


Facebook is launching a new type of ad to help people find and buy products they might see from videos marketers share on the service.

The new format, called Collections, will let marketers attach multiple product images to a video ad in News Feed. Clicking on an image will bring users to a product catalogue hosted on Facebook, similar to how the company hosts web articles with its Instant Articles product.

Users won't be able to purchase these products on Facebook, though; clicking on a specific product from the catalogue brings the user to the advertiser's own website or app to finalize a purchase.

The point here: Give marketers a TV-commercial-style ad that also lets them highlight specific products and — hopefully for Facebook and its advertisers — get people to buy right then and there.

"Three in four consumers say that watching videos on social media influences their purchasing decisions," Facebook explained in a blog post. The anchor advertisement doesn't have to be a video, it can also be an image, but it's clear Facebook considers this a video advertising unit.

The ad format is not entirely new. Pinterest offers a similar video ad that surfaces products related to the video.

It’s unclear if Facebook will try and add purchase functionality to these ads down the line. Commerce has never been Facebook’s forte. It has tried numerous times to get people to shop through News Feed, but none of those efforts have ever made significant waves. It already lets brand Pages host product catalogues on its service.

Facebook’s most recent attempt, a Craigslist-style marketplace for used goods, has gotten some ... less-than-flattering reviews.

The new Collections ad format will start rolling out Thursday to all Facebook advertisers.

This article originally appeared on

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