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In this article, we look at 17 new Facebook ad updates, why they matter, and how you can use them for your ad campaigns.

You’ll learn about:

  • offline conversions
  • new Facebook ad rules
  • average and max bidding
  • updates to the Audience Network
  • new advertising placement options

1. Control Costs With Ad Rules

Advertising platforms such as AdEspresso and Adstage have offered rule-based advertising for a while. Facebook now offers this option within the platform.

Rule-based advertising helps keep your ad costs under control in a much more automated way.

How It Works

Setting rules can be done at the ad, ad set and campaign level.

To access this, go to power editor and select a campaign, ad or ad set. Go to the top right and select “Create Rule”.

From there can you select when to trigger the rule, who gets notified and what happens.

A post on rule-based optimization will be published shortly!

2. Optimize Ads Based on Expected Conversion Window

Before this update, there was no way to optimize for different conversion windows.

You can now choose a conversion window of 1 or 7 days. If your conversions usually take place within 1 day, then for the 1-day window. If they take longer than 1 day, optimize for 7 days.

Conversions set to 7 days should run for at least a two weeks and get between 15-25 conversions per week to ensure results are fully optimized. Longer conversion windows need more time.


In your ad set, select either 1-day or 7-day conversions. You can change this later without losing any conversion data.

3. Control Costs With Average and Maximum Ad Bidding

After scouring the internet, I was disappointed to find very little discussion of a big change to Facebook advertising bidding. New bidding options now give you more control over bidding costs and results.

There are now two ways to structure your bid – average or maximum bidding. Whichever you choose will have an impact on conversion cost and volume.

So when should you use each one?

Generally Facebook keeps your cost in line with your target bid. Average and maximum bidding give you control over your costs.

Average Bidding

Let’s say you bid $5 per conversion and set it at average bidding. Your results will fluctuate, but will on average level out to $5 over time.

You should use average bidding if:

  • You care less about costs and want more results
  • You want to hit your daily budget
  • Your end conversion is revenue-based

Maximum Bidding

If you need to keep cost-per-conversion under a certain threshold, then choose maximum bidding. Choosing maximum bidding will lower your expected results, but will keep costs in line.

Here’s when to choose maximum bidding:

  • More concerned about keeping cost low, than results
  • No real urgent end-date
  • Don’t care about reaching a certain daily spend

4. Structured Ad Placements

There are three options for platform:

  • Mobile
  • Desktop
  • All

And network is now broken out more clearly:

  • Facebook
    • Feeds
    • Right Column
  •  Instagram
  • Audience Network

Structuring ads this way is more logical, as Facebook places more of an emphasis on mobile advertising which is increasingly driving results for advertisers and revenue for Facebook.

5. More Control Over Audience Network Placements

Facebook now allows more granular targeting on placements outside of Instagram and Facebook

You can now do the following:

  • Exclude certain website and app categories
  • Create blocklists to exclude your ads from appear on certain websites and apps


Go to placements and select Audience Network.

Then choose between Exclude Categories and Apply Blocklists

6. Reach People Outside Facebook With Improved Network Targeting

Until recently, the Audience Network only reached users who were logged in-monthly Facebook users.

A number of new changes make the audience network a more attractive channel to advertise:

  • Reach people outside of Facebook
  • Reach non-Facebook users
  • Track non-Facebook user conversions

Why Does It Matter?

Audience Network can help you scale campaigns to larger audiences who might aren’t using Facebook. And with Facebook’s data and tracking abilities, your ads will be more relevant than many other ad networks.

Facebook also uses industry leading fraud detection services, reducing potential ad fraud and waste.

7. Retarget People Who Engage With Lead Ads

Lead ads help advertisers acquire leads without leaving Facebook’s platform. Up until recently, reaching users who engaged with your lead ad was impossible.

Facebook now allows you to retarget people who engaged with your lead ad.


Go to custom audiences and select create custom audiences and choose lead ads.

There are three different retargeting options:

  1. Anyone who opened the form
  2. Anyone who opened the form and didn’t submit
  3. Anyone who opened and submitted the form

8. Target Users by Time Spent on Site

Facebook’s newest custom audience targeting feature allows advertisers to target people by time spent on site.

Jon Loomer provides an excellent analysis of time spent on site, and what it means for advertisers.

9. Advanced Video Retargeting

Facebook continues to invest in expanding video advertising. Their newest feature gives advertisers more retargeting control and precision.

You can now create the following audiences with video retargeting:

  • People who watched 3 seconds
  • People who watched 10 seconds
  • People who watched 25% of your video
  • People who watched 50% of your video
  • People who watched 75% of your video
  • People who watched 95% of your video

Why Does It Matter?

All video engagement isn’t the same. People who watched 50% versus 95% are different.

For example, someone who watched 25% of you video is interested, but not sold. You could follow-up with more education content to drive them towards a product purchase. Likewise, someone who watched 95% is probably ready to buy a product.

10. Better Geographic Optimization

Facebook ads are effective because their algorithm is extremely effective at finding people who meet your advertising objectives.

The newest changes to ad optimization will shift budgets based on the best performing regions.

11. Regional Targeting

In addition to regional optimization, Facebook has expanded geographic targeting options, making it easier for you to reach specific regions and Free Trade Areas.

These are broken up into the following groups:


  • Africa
  • South America
  • Central America
  • Caribbean
  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia
  • Oceania

Free Trade Areas

  • EEA (European Economic Area)
  • GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council)
  • APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation)
  • CISFTA (Commonwealth of Independent States Free Trade Area)

12. Improved Offer Ads

Facebook continues to expand ways to track ads that drive customer point-of-sale purchases.

One of these tools is Facebook Offers. Changes announced on August 30th, include:

  • Bookmark: Claim an offer on desktop or mobile and it will be saved as an Offers Bookmark
  • Offer Reminders: Reminded across desktop and mobile about saved offers
  • Redeem offers anywhere: Offers can be redeemed at an online checkout or mobile device during purchase in a store
  • Coupon codes: Generate unique codes for each person who claims and Offer

13. New Options for Slideshow Ads

Slideshow ads are an easy way to make animated image ads with only your photos.

In August Facebook launched the following new features

Add Text and Music

You can add text, select templates and choose colors to their slideshow ads.

Create Slideshows on Mobile

You can now create slideshows on the go with their Android devices.

Use Stock Image Assets

Slideshow is now fully integrated with Facebook’s stock image database and the Pages Photo Library feature.

Bring video to people on every connection speed

Slideshows can be combined with 2G targeting to deliver video creative to users on low bandwidth connections.

14. Dynamic Instagram Ads for Travel

Dynamic ads now include a travel-specific focus. You can now show relevant ads to people who expressed interest in travelling to specific destination and dates.

How To Use

  1. Implement the Facebook pixel on your website or Facebook SDK and App Events in your mobile app.
  2. Upload your catalog to Business Manager. You’ll need a product catalogue or list of your hotel properties.
  3. Create a template for your ads. You can create an ad template that will dynamically insert photos and details from your catalog based on what people do on your site.

15. Optimize for App Engagement

Facebook advertising has helped app advertisers dramtically scale app installs. But the biggest problem facing app companies isn’t increasing installs, it’s increasing time-spent within app.

To help increase time-in-app, Facebook now allows advertisers to target users based on app events.

Through App Event Optimization, advertisers can deliver ads to the people who are likely to take valuable actions within their app

How To Use

To launch App Event Optimization ads, go to Power Editor, select Create Campaign and choose “Increase engagement on your app”.

Then select the app and the app event you want to optimize for.

16. Better App Ads with App Canvas Ads

You can now use Canvas ads to drive app installs or re-engagement

17. Optimize for Offline Conversions

Many purchases happen outside of Facebook. You can now track when transactions occur in your physical retail store and other offline channels (ex: orders made over the phone) after people see or engage with your Facebook ad.


You’ll need the a set of files with offline event data. The data in your offline event set should contain identifiers that allow matching of offline events to people in your target audience, so that Facebook can measure the events you specify as a result of people seeing or engaging with your Facebook ads.

To create your event, go to Business Manager and select People and Assets. Then select Create New Offline Event Set

Depending on your objective, you may not see this option.

In tracking, go to “Offline Event Tracking” and choose the offline event to track.


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