The Growing Problem
Facebook reports that, since 2011, websites have grown in size, exponentially, resulting in slow load times when navigating to a website from the Facebook app. This has created an increase in negative user experiences for users and advertisers when interacting with sponsored posts and ads.
If you’re a Facebook user you have surely experienced this problem first hand. You see an interesting sponsored post and click on it, but then you’re directed off the mobile app and your phone’s browser begins to load the content. The load time is hit and miss, depending on the content you’ve decided to look at. It could load within a few seconds, or you could get a never ending spinning wheel. If it takes longer than a few seconds it’s likely you’ll end click back and continue browsing on Facebook.
This scenario can be a frustrating experience for advertisers, because your target audience doesn’t get a chance to see your content, thus resulting in higher click through rates and less traffic overall driven by the ad.
Facebook’s solution to the problem is Canvas, which bypasses the process of users having to navigate away from the app to an off site landing page. Imagine clicking an ad and your screen expands to a beautifully designed presentation, with video and images, that explains exactly what you wanted to know about the product or service. Once it’s over you’re invited to click a “call to action” button like ‘learn more’, ‘contact us’, or ‘download.’ Having watched the Canvas presentation, users have become more informed about the business offering and have an increased drive to learn more.
The hope is to create a overall better experience for the user and the advertiser.
For the user:
- Avoid slow load times after clicking an ad.
- Become a more informed consumer in a visually appealing way.
- More ease in consuming content.
For the Advertiser:
- Receives more qualified site traffic.
- Lower bounce rate.
- More control over conversion funnel.
- Improved ability to tell their brand’s story.
Before Canvas was rolled out to all users, large brands like Coke and Target were given the opportunity to test drive over the last holiday season. From what I’ve seen, these brands have done a great job of making Canvas fun to experience and interactive. To give you an idea of how it looks go to Facebook’s Canvas Introduction page here: https://canvas.facebook.com/