We all know Facebook ads. They're the annoying things you've got to scroll past when you want to see posts by your friends and family. Now, Facebook is encouraging advertisers to try out a different type of ad that you might actually want to stop and take a look at.
The new ads are called cinemagraphs and they mix a traditional still photo ad with an animated ad. Most of the ad looks like a high-quality image promoting a product, but there's usually one little piece that's animated and draws in viewers. For instance, a cinemagraph promoting a wine company shows a still photo of a family sitting at a table, but the wine swirling in one glass is animated.
The ads look very elegant and simple. They let the image do the talking and don't have text. They will take advantage of Facebook's autoplay feature that automatically starts videos when you scroll to them without requiring users to click play.
"You're going to start seeing a ton of these on Facebook," said one advertising executive who has seen a guide produced by Facebook for marketers called "Hacking Facebook Autoplay."
Visual artists Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck made the cinemagraph popular and create the images for many big name companies like Armani. Advertisers seem to like the format because of its not noisy or cluttered and online users are drawn to them.
They thought the format would be ideal for advertising. "People can't stop staring at them," Burg said. "Isn't that what advertisers want?"
This is a cinemagraph created by Burg and Beck's Ann Street Studio.
So, don't be surprised if you start seeing these animated images popping up all over your Facebook feed. Coca-Cola and Stouffer's have already posted ads like this to Facebook. Facebook also updated Instagram recently to allow it to play looped videos, which means the photo-sharing site will also support cinemagraphs.