author image Written by: Wade Morris           Categories - In The News, Paid Ads, Social Media

Facebook announced that it would launch a handful of new advertising features globally. The announcement, made on Apr. 22, included forthcoming launches related to video content, organizing ads, and Facebook Stories.

Facebook is Taking Advantage of Global Markets for Video

Facebook will begin testing ads on Instagram Reels in India, Brazil, Germany, and Australia. Instagram Reels is a feature that allows users to create and publish short videos – it is often considered a rival service of TikTok or YouTube.

TikTok has been banned in several countries, including India. It appears that Facebook will take advantage of the space left by the banned service by allowing advertisers to place 30-second ads on Reels.

According to Facebook’s Vice President of Global Business Group, the decision to introduce ads is “an indication of how strong the momentum is for Reels,” though she did not provide any data.

Advertisers Will Have More Categories To Choose From

Facebook also announced that brands will gain new options for how they publish their ads. Specifically, advertisers will be able to select categories of video content to place ads on. In other words, they can choose to advertise on videos that are about specific topics, like fitness, parenting, or pets.

Previously, advertisers would be able to place ads based on users’ interests, but not on the topic of the content itself.

“This is a big deal for marketers,” Everson said of the new options.

Sticker Ads Are Coming To Facebook Stories

Among the other features that are being tested, Facebook will let brands create stickers that users can place in their stories. Stickers are digital icons that can be clicked on to take the user to another page – for this reason, they are classified as an advertising feature.

Facebook is expected to begin testing these features soon.

READ MORE: Facebook Tests New Video Ad Options, Including Updated Targeting Categories and Instagram Reels Ads  

READ MORE: Facebook Tweaks Ad Tools Ahead Of Apple’s Privacy Changes

Wade Morris

Wade brings an energetic approach to writing – he is always on the hunt for stories and angles that matter. With years of experience in journalism and marketing environments, Wade has written about everything from politics to education. Now, he writes about SEO and digital marketing trends.

Facebook Removes Support For Podcasts


Facebook is ditching podcasts and plans to stop offering them from June 3.

The social-media giant will no longer allow users to add podcasts to the service as of this week but plans to remove them altogether starting June. Both its short-form audio product Soundbites and the central audio hub will be discontinued, Bloomberg reports.

These options were first introduced last April, as part of Facebook’s broader effort to promote social audio. That’s when Meta presented a range of upcoming podcast options: on-page display tools and direct connection options. Both were supposed to let Facebook users listen to podcasts from within the app without leaving it. In June, Meta launched its podcast support tools, with several launch partners.

Now, not even a year later, Facebook is shifting its focus to other initiatives.

We’re constantly evaluating the features we offer so we can focus on the most meaningful experiences – a Meta spokesperson said in an email sent to Bloomberg. The person allegedly added that they don’t have a specific date on when Soundbites and the audio hub would shut down but it will be in the “coming weeks.”

Facebook will also cut the site’s Soundbites and Audio hubs and integrate its Live Audio Rooms feature into its broader Facebook Live suite. They also said they will not warn users of this, but will rather let creators break the news how they see fit.

Why the change? Probably because they need to save some money:

After the start of COVID, the acceleration of e-commerce led to outsized revenue growth, but we’re now seeing that trend back off. However, based on the strong revenue growth we saw in 2021, we kicked off several 2 multi-year projects to accelerate some of our longer-term investments, especially in our AI infrastructure, business platform, and Reality Labs. These investments are going to be important for our success and growth over time so I continue to believe we should see them through. But with our current business growth levels, we’re now planning to slow the pace of some of our investments.

This might not be a big deal and some significant news for everyone, but as Andrew Hutchinson from Social Media Today noticed, it shows how Facebook’s focus can easily shift and ‘betray’ the creators that use the platform. What does that mean for future Meta visitors and builders?

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Facebook Launches New Novi Pilot


Earlier this week, Meta launched a new trial version of the Novi digital wallet – this time, for use via the Whatsapp mobile app. Users in USA and Guatemala can now send and receive money right in their WhatsApp mobile app.

You might be wondering what the Novi app even is. Well, remember when Facebook announced the rebranding, the Metaverse, and how it will touch every product they build? It turns out this could be a part of it all.

Novi is a digital wallet that should enable people to send and receive money internationally without leaving their homes. There are no fees, and the process doesn’t last long. It uses blockchain technology and a digital currency called USDP – a cryptocurrency of Paxos – a coin that uses the Etherium blockchain technology and is attached to the U.S. dollar. So, 1 USDP = 1 USD.

According to Facebook, or Meta, if you will, Novi has been developed to enable fee-free, cross-country money transfers. If you decide to sign up, you will need a valid government ID and a video selfie. Then, you can add money to the account using your debit card and your contact list.

Things you should know

Novi is officially a regulated financial company from Facebook, but also has built-in protection against fraud and constant monitoring for suspicious activity. Yet, some regulators are hesitant to give Facebook more power and influence, especially considering the amount of user data they have access to.

For them, it seems that adding payment options is a step too far. That’s why Novi acts independently from Meta and wants to distance itself as much as possible, to maximize acceptance. Using Novi on Whatsapp won’t change Whatsapp’s privacy settings and should be completely safe, according to Facebook.

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