Facebook now allows advertisers to take over the entire smartphone screen with the new marketing option called Canvas. Currently, ads from Canvas are limited only to mobile phones running on Android and iOS.
Facebook has several advertising options but Canvas ads are expected to better engage users. Advertisers also have the option to display still images or videos. To view, users will have to click on a specific ad for it to go full screen. When users open an advertisement via Canvas, it will show up on their timelines.
"Canvas is an immersive and expressive experience on Facebook for businesses to tell their stories and showcase their products," says Facebook. "You can easily build your Canvas using a combination of videos, still images and call-to-action buttons. In Canvas, people can swipe through a carousel of images, tilt to view panoramic images and zoom in to view images in detail."
The social media network suggests that the creation of Canvas was based on feedback from the creative community, which started in late November 2014. Facebook wanted to offer advertisers small and large spaces for promoting their products and services.
Jessica Watson, the product design manager at Facebook, says that the company wanted users and advertisers to improve the way ads appear on mobile devices and a full screen ad is more immersive.
One of the key aspects for the company was the speed at which an ad opens. Facebook does not want its users to wait long for an ad to appear and ads via Canvas will load instantaneously on a user's screen.
"Canvas uses the same technology that makes photos and videos load quickly on Facebook, so it loads as much as 10 times faster than the standard mobile web," says Watson.
International fast food restaurant chain Wendy's was one of the first to partner with Facebook's new Canvas advertising option. Brandon Rhoten, the VP of advertising at Wendy's announced that the company wanted to tell its story in a different way and across diverse platforms.
Ads are a major source of revenue for companies like Facebook so Canvas ads may attract more businesses to advertise using the latest option resulting in higher revenue for Facebook.
Early Canvas ads trial resulted in more than 53 percent users viewing more than half of those ads. The average ad viewing time was 31 seconds, which also rose to 70 seconds for some top-performing ads.
Paresh Rajwat, the product lead at Facebook, said that the company is also planning on expanding Canvas to other areas like Instagram. However, Facebook may deploy Canvas to other areas in the first half of this year.