Facebook Rolls Out Bigger Ads On Its Right-Hand Column, Says There Will Be Fewer Of Them

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The ads that you see on the right-hand column of Facebook’s website are about to get bigger, the company says.

Facebook is announcing today that it’s rolling out a new design for those ads — some advertisers will see the option later this month, and everyone should be switched over later this year. Facebook says those ads will be larger (taking on the same proportions as News Feed ads), but users will see fewer of them. Presumably, this will allow Facebook to charge more for them.

Not surprisingly, early tests found that larger right-hand column ads saw more engagement — up to three times as much engagement as the old design, Facebook says. And advertisers should now be able to upload a single image that works in both right-hand column and News Feed ads.

“For advertisers, this means a simpler way to create ads and an enhanced visual creative canvas on the right-hand column of Facebook,” the company writes in a blog post.

The announcement also ties into some of the broader ideas that Facebook has been promoting. For one thing, executives have said that they’re less interested in just increasing the number of ads on the site and more in experimenting with size and positioning. For another, the company declared last year that simplifying the ad-buying was a big goal.

This change will be desktop-only, since the right-hand column doesn’t appear on mobile (and mobile now accounts for the majority of Facebook’s ad revenue).

Update: A Facebook spokesperson clarified that images for the right-hand ads and the News Feed ads will have the same proportions will advertisers upload them, but that the right-hands ads will still be smaller when they’re served.