You may remember our article on the future of augmented reality in digital marketing, it seems that the future is coming faster than we thought! Facebook AR ads will be coming to a newsfeed near you very soon.

Well, maybe not next week, but Facebook AR ads are currently in the process of being tested. The main reason for this is to give advertisers the opportunity to showcase and sell their products through the use of AR technology, allowing potential customers to try before they buy, all from the comfort of their own home. Sounds pretty great!

It’s not an entire shock, earlier this year at their F8 developer conference Facebook announced their intention and undergoing of work with companies to bring AR ads to Facebook messenger, allowing them to show off their products to users. However, Facebook AR ads appearing in the newsfeed is a bit of an update to shout about.

Michael Kors was apparently the first brand to test out AR ads in the newsfeed, according to Facebook. Brands like Sephora, NYX Professional Makeup, Bobbi Brown, Pottery Barn, Wayfair and King are following Kors’ Facebook ad footsteps and have planned in tests for later this Summer. The idea behind Facebook AR ads, like we said, is to encourage people to try before they buy, giving them the chance to give the product a virtual whirl first and as you can see from the line up above, this could be a whole host of products from fashion and cosmetics to furniture.

facebook AR ads example micheal korrs

Image taken from Engadget UK

Speaking at an event, yesterday in New York, Ty Ahmad-Taylor, vice president of product marketing for Facebook’s global marketing solutions, said:

“People traditionally have to go into stores to do this, People still really love that experience, but they would like to try it at home” — so this “bridges the gap.”

To illustrate his point, Ahmad-Taylor showed the audience ads that incorporated his face into Candy Crush gameplay footage, as well as other ads that allowed shoppers to test virtual sunglasses and makeup, allowing them to see how it would look on their own faces. Though the ads look like regular, run of the mill ads initially, there is a ‘tap to try’ function which triggers the AR element. Making it even more lucrative for advertisers, if the user likes what they see, they are able to buy it right away. Ahmad-Taylor went on to say:

“People now expect a personalised and visually inspiring experience wherever they shop, whether on their phone or in-store,"

Video currently occupies the top spot when it comes to media online. In fact, 87% of marketers use video in their campaigns and 64% of customers admit that they will buy a product online after watching a video about it. Comparing video to AR content, we can only see room for improvements, it’s likely that AR content will contain video content to catch the eye, encouraging the ‘tap to try’, which will then launch the user into a full AR experience. Interactive content is always successful, 88% of marketers believe it differentiates them from their competition and it generates around twice the conversions that passive content does. Only time and testing will tell, but there could be a new favourite media option on the way when Facebook AR ads are readily available...

Alongside the Facebook AR ads, the social platform also announced a new Video Creation Kit, which will give advertisers the opportunity to incorporate existing images into templates for mobile video ads, and that shopping capabilities on Instagram Stories will also be expanding.

Following the success of AR capable platforms like Snapchat and Instagram stories, we can only imagine how successful Facebook AR ads are going to be. However, the likelihood of it being very commercially available soon is unlikely. But, in the meantime, we will sit and savour the idea of running AR ads for our clients. Oh, the things we could do!