Digital Dash: Facebook scraps relevancy score & more

1. Facebook spring cleans Ads Manager, scraps loads of metrics including relevance score

If you work with Facebook Ads Manager, you’ll probably know about the relevance score metric.

It essentially tells you how well suited your ad is to your selected audience, the theory being that the higher the score, the better the performance. Weirdly, sometimes the opposite is true.

Either way, the stat is rarely that useful. And Facebook clearly agrees because this week it announced relevance score will soon be replaced with three new relevance metrics.

Each is designed to offer more granular and diagnostic insights.

Let’s take a look:

Quality ranking: how your ad’s perceived quality compares with ads competing for the same audience

Engagement rate ranking: how your ad’s expected engagement rate compares with ads competing for the same audience

Conversion rate ranking: how your ad’s expected conversion rate compares with ads that had the same optimisation goal and competed for the same audience

Relevance score will make way for these three newbies starting 30 April. Note that they are not factored into auction performance.

To be honest, this looks like a step in the right direction. While the three new metrics won’t ever be as important for reporting as some others, they’ll still provide valuable insights into how creative, targeting and the post-click experience impact performance.

Facebook also announced changes to the “potential reach” metric, which estimates the number of people your ad will be delivered to. From now on, only people who saw an ad in the past 30 days will be included.

On top of this, the company is removing a bunch of other metrics it feels have become redundant. You can see the full list here.


2. Is Instagram about to launch a Watch Party equivalent?

Facebook’s Watch Party feature allows users – including creators and publishers – to take part in a shared video-watching experience in real time, with comments, reactions etc. being live streamed despite the video itself not necessarily being live.

A while ago it was rumoured that something similar would be arriving on Facebook Messenger. And now it looks like the same is true for Instagram Direct.

Reverse-engineering specialist Jane Manchun-Wong spotted a mention of “co-watch content” within the app’s code.

Details about what kind of video content you’ll be able to watch with others are still shrouded in mystery. Video posts? IGTV? Maybe. Instagram isn’t ready to confirm yet.


3. Data on the brain: proof your ads are judged in less than half a second

Neuroscience doesn’t come up too regularly in this digital news roundup, but I hope you’re ready, because that’s the realm we’re about to dive into.

New research has revealed it takes the human brain less than half a second to engage with a mobile ad and leave an imprint, positive or negative.

The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) announced the findings from its Cognition Neuroscience Research project in collaboration with The Advertising Research Foundation (ARF).

I’m sure you hear it all the time: what your audience sees in those first few seconds of encountering an ad is hugely significant.

Well this research proves it and actually drives home that, on mobile, it’s not even a case of the first few seconds, but actually within the first second itself.

What this shows is that literally within the blink of an eye, people have already seen and processed your ad.

Note: on desktop, things happen slightly slower – it takes 2-3 seconds for ads to be seen and cognitively recognised.

What’s even more interesting is that it takes under 7/10ths of a second for an emotional response to be formed.

And when it comes to emotional responses, video is king. The study found video is twice as likely to create emotional responses than static imagery in faster exposure speeds.

There are many things we can all take from this and feed into our ad creation, but the main points to consider are:

  • Make sure your ads are instantly engaging; focus on creating an impression with the very first second.
  • Tap into the emotional brain as quickly as possible, remembering that video is the best way to achieve this


4. Facebook adds Stories Archive and new sharing options

Facebook is still doing everything it can to make us love Stories. Despite the feature lagging massively in comparison to Instagram Stories, the parent company obviously still sees the potential for its own version.

This week, The Next Web’s Matt Navarra spotted a couple of new updates to Facebook Stories. Both will be valuable to brands, and could get more of them on board.

The first new feature is Story Archive. Using this, you can get access to your stories even after 24 hours when they “disappear”.

Most of you will know and use this tool over on Instagram already.

Presumably, what will follow next is a Facebook version of Story Highlights to allow you to repurpose stories for your profile page. Here’s hoping.

As well as the archive, another new option will let users share your Page’s stories, posts or events to their own story. This will include your Page’s name.

It’s clear Facebook is dead set on Stories becoming a core part of its ecosystem, so if you’re into using the format on Instagram, now might be a good time to consider similar content for Facebook too.


5. Is that Twitter’s camera or Instagram’s? It just got hard to tell the difference

Twitter’s in-app camera has been overhauled. When you see the new version, you might accidentally think you’ve opened Instagram instead.

You can access the new camera by simply swiping left from the timeline.

Freed from the confines of Tweet Composer, you’ll be able to enjoy a full-screen experience to capture footage (no uploads). You can then add hashtags, a location and a bit of text all within a colourful box at the bottom of the screen.

When published, the media will get special timeline treatment too. It will appear larger and above the text in your tweet.

Good on Twitter for evolving in line with what users want and enjoy on other platforms. It’s slowly managing to do this yet still differentiate itself, which could pay off in the longer term.

After all, you never know when users might start appreciating you again – like last night when Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Google all crashed. Suddenly Twitter was the place to be and I thought it was 2012 again.