Facebook has been placing a great deal of emphasis on groups as part of its focus on community and its preparation for a future of private encrypted services, and now, the social network is exploring way to monetize that section of its platform.
The social network said during its F8 developer conference in April that there are tens of millions of active groups on its platform, and over 400 million people belong to a group that they find to be meaningful.
A test with a “very small number” of advertisers is underway, and those brands have access to a Facebook groups placement in Ads Manager, which enables them to place ads in the feed that appears under the groups tab.
Advertisers that are in the test group will be able to extend their existing mobile News Feed campaigns to the groups tab, and they must select News Feed, at minimum, in addition to groups, to be part of the trial.
Those brands cannot target people based on specific groups they belong to and, otherwise, there are no changes to the social network’s targeting capabilities.
The ad format is similar to News Feed ads in terms of headline, image and text, with only single-image ads being tested as of now.
The ads contain Facebook’s clearly labeled Sponsored tag and the same transparency and controls as ads elsewhere on the platform, including “Why am I seeing this ad?” and the ability to block ads from the brand running the campaign.
For brands, the reach, offsite conversions and link click objectives are being supported during the trial.
Product manager Melisa Tokmak said in an email, “We’re running a small test to place ads in the groups tab and will evaluate whether these ads are beneficial for people and businesses before deciding whether to expand it further.”