How to Run an Instagram Story Takeover

Want to reach more people with your Instagram stories? Have you considered hosting an Instagram Story takeover to grow a larger following? Collaborating with highly engaged Instagram users will introduce their followers to your content. In this article, you’ll discover how to plan and execute an Instagram Story takeover. What’s an Instagram Story Takeover? Instagram […]

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– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

Facebook’s new Collection ads help brands tell a more visual product story

Facebook headquarters.

Facebook has introduced a new ad format it calls Collection. Brands can use it to try to convince shoppers to make a purchase by showing an engaging video and displaying related products. This is perhaps one of the more immersive formats the company offers, and it’s rolling out globally today.

In addition, Facebook is testing a new metric called “outbound clicks” to help advertisers better understand who actually leaves the social network and goes to their website.

With Collection, brands can use a video or image to highlight the story or message they want to tell. Underneath will be a set of four products, either dynamically arranged by product popularity or manually organized. So Under Armour could use a video of Golden State Warriors’ star Steph Curry’s journey in the NBA as its spotlight content, and could display his shoes, apparel, and more underneath.

The hope is that you’ll be drawn into the Collection ad and will click on it. When you do, you’ll be taken to another page within Facebook, one featuring an immersive display of up to 50 products, sorted by relevance. The page would be set up like an Instant Article to help those on mobile shop more easily. Only when you find a product you want to purchase will you be routed from Facebook to the advertiser’s own website to complete the transaction.

A big part of the Collection ads will hinge on having brands sync their product catalog with Facebook so the social network knows which products are worth highlighting.

Maz Sharafi, Facebook’s director of product marketing, claimed that Collection ads will help people “shop more seamlessly” and that early testing saw good results. He cites Adidas as an example, saying that the sports apparel brand used the ad format to drive sales for its Z.N.E. Road Trip hoodie and related products, resulting in a 5.3 times return on ad spend.

Facebook Collection ads for Adidas

Above: Facebook Collection ads for Adidas

Image Credit: Facebook

Facebook already offers carousel ads to brands who want to sell specific products, but these ads are limited in terms of storytelling. There are also canvas ads, which are immersive, but they don’t really highlight products for you to purchase. Collection could solve both of these issues by giving you a more integrated experience.

But Sharafi remains adamant that all the ad formats are important and explained that it’s all about giving marketers “a number of options.” That said, he’s excited about Collection ads, which he said “combine a format with a shopping experience. There’s nothing quite like that.”

Facebook Collection ads for Tommy Hillfiger

Above: Facebook Collection ads for Tommy Hillfiger

Image Credit: Facebook

In order to help brands better track results, Facebook is also introducing its outbound click metric, which is optimized for more creative ad formats, like canvas and Collection, and promises to give marketers a clearer view of the path customers take. Right now, there’s a link click metric that shows the clicks coming from the News Feed, but when you have creative ads, it can be difficult to know exactly where the clicks came from. With the outbound click metric, you’ll now know when someone leaves Facebook through an ad.

“One of the things we’re trying to do with the introduction of a new metric is providing more clarity and transparency,” Sharafi said. “In the scenario of Adidas using Collection, in a world where you don’t have an outbound click, you wouldn’t be able to tell which click happened from the News Feed where people have opened the immersive experience and which clicks happened within Collection.”

Outbound clicks are available in beta today, and Collection ads are rolling out globally over the next few weeks.

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How to send story tips securely to VentureBeat

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Got a big story to share? VentureBeat accepts confidential news tips. Here’s a list of ways to contact our editorial team with sensitive information. We are committed to protecting the identities of our sources.

When submitting a confidential news tip, be sure to include any relevant documents, evidence, and data. Further, please explain why the tip is newsworthy and what’s at stake. We promise to read each message and to reply promptly.

Examples of confidential news tips:

  • Attached is proof that this company lied to its investors.
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Thank you for reaching out to us.


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PGP-encrypted email

The following VentureBeat editors can be reached via PGP-encrypted email. PGP encryption uses a public key (the one you share) and a secret key (never share this) to scramble the text in the body of your emails. If you send an email using one of our public keys, ideally, nobody but us can read what you’ve sent (note: your email subject and address will not be encrypted).

  • Blaise Zerega — Generate a PGP-encrypted message to paste into an email or messaging app. Fingerprint: 61F1 BC85 0D51 611B B7A6 D365 021D A984 40FF 7EC6. Public key.
  • Harrison Weber — Generate a PGP-encrypted message to paste into an email or messaging app. Fingerprint: 85BD DC7A 1EFD D6E1 6F7B 8FED 05F3 CC1B FB2D 8ED9. Public key.

A service called Keybase makes it easy to generate a PGP-encrypted message using a reporter’s public key. After you encrypt a message, you can paste it into an email and send it with your normal email client.

If you need to send and receive PGP-encrypted messages, there are a number of ways to get started, including GPG Tools (for Mac) and by reading guides from the Electronic Frontier Foundation  for Windows, Linux, Mac. If you’re new to PGP, please read the “Security tips” section below before proceeding.

Mail, IRL

Sending a physical letter from a random public mailbox without a return address remains a relatively secure way to deliver tips. Please keep in mind that a number of our staff work remotely. Please send to attention of a specific staff member or by default, send to attention of Blaise Zerega.

VentureBeat Editorial Team
Attention: Blaise Zerega
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San Francisco, CA 94111

General pitches

For news tips that don’t require anonymity or extra security (e.g. pitches, announcements, funding news), submit them via our general tips inbox — —which remains the best way to reach VentureBeat’s editorial staff. You might also contact the appropriate reporter/editor directly with news relevant to his or her beat. If you require anonymity, please use one of the methods above to reach our staff.

Security tips

Properly using the tools above will help protect your identity. Please keep in mind, however, that you may need to take additional steps to keep your communications secure, among them: Don’t use your work computer, work phone, work-related accounts, or work-provided internet connection to send tips. Here are a few guides that can further help you protect your identity.

  • The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s secure communication guide
  • The ACLU’s basic privacy guide
  • The EFF’s intro to PGP
  • How to run a rogue government Twitter account (via the Intercept)

Thank you.

Social – VentureBeat

The Social Media Examiner Story: From Blog to Conference


Wonder how the Social Media Examiner blog got started? Interested in how we grew a live conference from an online publication? To share the evolution of Social Media Examiner and Social Media Marketing World, Ray Edwards will interview me. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from […]

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– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle