Facebook is consolidating its ad-buying tools and combining its ad placement options

On Tuesday, Facebook announced a sweeping overhaul of its self-serve ad-buying tools and ad placement options.

At the heart of Tuesday’s changes is the merger of Facebook’s two self-serve ad-buying tools, Power Editor and Ads Manager, into one. The new Ads Manager will combine the plug-and-play nature of the old version while also incorporating the advanced features of Power Editor, whose name is being phased out as the consolidation begins to roll out later this week.

According to Facebook’s Help Center, Power Editor users “won’t notice any changes with ad creation and management except the new name.” Ads Manager users, however, will be able to step out of that tool’s guided step-by-step campaign creation flow to arrange a campaign in the order they see fit, whether starting with that audience to target or the ad to display.

Coinciding with the consolidation of Facebook’s self-serve tools, the company is also more closely connecting Facebook’s and Instagram’s ad products and placements, according to an Instagram blog post, in an apparent effort to further bridge the two platforms’ advertiser bases and ad opportunities.

For starters, brands will soon be able to buy campaigns that span Instagram’s Stories feed, Instagram’s main feed, Facebook and Facebook’s Audience Network ad network. Previously, advertisers could only buy Instagram’s Stories inventory as a separate, standalone campaign. If an advertiser opts to run a campaign across Stories and Facebook’s other placement options, the brand will need to upload a video or photo with a 16:9 aspect ratio for Stories and a separate piece of creative for the non-Stories inventory, according to an Instagram spokesperson.

Brands will now be able to take slides posted to their organic Instagram Stories and upload them to Ads Manager to run as ads across Instagram and other Facebook-sold inventory. By enabling brands to convert Story slides featuring Instagram’s face filters, stickers and other artistic elements into ads, Facebook/Instagram can lower the barrier to entry for advertisers who may feel they lack the creative tools to produce what may be considered an appropriate ad for Instagram’s Stories feed or Facebook’s other ad placement options. The uploading option is primarily meant to make it easier for brands to create Story ads, but the saved slides aren’t limited to that inventory. Brands will also be able to run the creative as ads on Facebook and Audience Network, and they can use Ads Manager’s cropping tools to edit the slide to fit the maximum 4:5 aspect ratio required to appear in Instagram’s main feed, said the Instagram spokesperson.

In addition to incorporating Instagram Stories into its broader advertising portfolio, Facebook is officially extending one of its splashiest ad formats to Instagram. I reported last week that Instagram had begun testing its full-screen Canvas ad format within Instagram’s Stories feed. On Tuesday, Instagram announced that the mobile-only ad format was officially available to advertisers.

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