Facebook confirmed what some users had recently noticed: newsfeed-style ads are coming to Groups.
“We have started to test delivering ads to people in Facebook Groups, and will be evaluating the response before determining how we will move forward,” Facebook told TechCrunch.
Facebook also confirmed the ads will share design specs with newsfeed ads. Advertisers will be able to target them with the usually array of options, along with a new targeting option: group topic.
The group topic targeting option will be valuable to advertisers because group membership is a stronger signal of interest in a topic than liking a page related to that topic. For example, someone active in a Toronto Blue Jays fan group is more likely to be an avid fan of the Jays (and baseball in general) than someone who just liked the Jays’ page.
In our experience, Facebook groups are extremely active and drive significantly more organic engagement than pages. We’ll have to wait and see whether group advertising shares this advantage.
There’s also the risk that organic engagement in groups will drop as Facebook ramps up its group ad program. If you run a group now, this is something to watch out for.