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Facebook Starts Testing AR Ads In The News Feed

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You’ll soon be able to try on sunglasses and buy them without ever leaving your Facebook app.

The social media company announced that it’s beginning a rollout of mobile ads utilising augmented reality in the News Feed. Soon, your feed will be filled with interactive experiences with the intent to sell you products.

The company explained in a blog post that, the new AR ad feature that will place virtually engaging advertisements in the News Feed. In its announcement to advertisers, Facebook claims that, “by incorporating calls-to-action within the camera experience, people can seamlessly go from engaging with your product—such as trying on a lipstick shade or exploring a new game—to making a purchase or installing an app.” Facebook’s marketing team seems to be attempting to make advertisers’ products as tangible as possible.

Facebook’s vice president of product marketing at its global marketing solutions department, Ty Ahmad-Taylor, provided the following statement:

“People now expect a personalized and visually inspiring experience wherever they shop — whether on their phone or in-store, which is why video will play an increasingly important role in the mobile shopping experience. In fact, we’re already seeing video become the preferred medium for product discovery on mobile. As retailers prepare for their biggest shopping season the year, we’re excited to introduce new products that will help them both delight and inspire shoppers, and ultimately drive sales.

Michael Kors was the first to test out an AR ad in which people can try on a digital version of the brand’s designer sunglasses. A demo of the ad shows that people can click on the Michael Kors Facebook ad from their News Feed, which prompts their smartphone’s camera to switch on to capture their face. From there, they can pick from a small assortment of Lon Aviators style sunglasses with different coloured shades that they can then apply to their faces in a realistic manner.

Facebook has been investing heavily into AR as the company believes it marks a big step in the way people interact with computers. In 2017, Facebook debuted a suite of developer tools intended to make it easier for people create AR apps within Facebook. Although there hasn’t been a blockbuster AR app since Pokémon Go, which debuted in 2016, numerous tech companies like Apple and Google are still big believers that the technology will eventually catch on with consumers.

This new ad experience is intended to lure in holiday shoppers, who do more and more gift-giving through online shops. In the lead up to peak holiday rush, more ads will start showing up for testing. Expect to see brands including Sephora, NYX Professional Makeup, Bobbi Brown, Pottery Barn and Wayfair in your augmented News Feed this summer.

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