The format, which mirrors a status update on a branded Facebook Page, but doesn’t depend on users signing up, invites a dialogue.
The first advertiser to try the so-called Comment ads, Allstate, used the Mayhem character from its commercials, who asked “What’s the worst thing your kid’s ever done in the car?” Another advertiser, Hallmark, plans to ask, “How do you make summertime a special occasion?”
The format is the latest attempt by Facebook to adapt advertising to social media communication. In January, Facebook introduced Sponsored Stories, which show user interaction with brands in the form of checkins and “Likes” in the right-hand ad column. If a user in your network, for instance, visited Starbucks, you might see that activity as an ad if Starbucks paid for the placement.
Facebook’s new ad format comes in the same week that Twitter execs shared plans to include Promoted Tweets in users’ timelines and LinkedIn announced new ad units that included mention of users’ follows and recommendations.