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There’s no question that ads are and will continue to be a big part of Facebook’s future. Unfortunately, the social network’s current system is a bit muddled. There are too many ad formats available to users, and evidence that the number of options is actually confusing potential customers. That’s why Facebook plans to scrap over half of its formats over the next six months, according to a blog post published by the company.

The current number of Facebook ad formats available stands at 27. The streamlining process figures to bring that number down to “less than half,” while making it easier for customers to find the ad formats that meet their needs. As it stands, there are several ad formats that actually cover the same territories; these are the formats that Facebook plans to eliminate over the coming months. Many are related to Facebook’s “Sponsored Stories” product, which Ad Age reports will be eliminated, its social elements worked into a single format:

There are currently 13 different types of sponsored stories (including one that delivers context about friends who have played with a game.) By the end of the third quarter or the beginning of the fourth, Facebook intends to direct advertisers to buy one ad format that will include the richest social context available. (And in the event that no social context is available — meaning a user’s friends haven’t engaged with the brand — a more stripped-down news-feed ad with just a picture and text would appear, for example.)

In the next few months, the Facebook Offers ad format will be discontinued.
In the next few months, the Facebook Offers ad format will be discontinued.

Another format that is getting the ax is the Facebook Offers ad. This particular ad unit enabled businesses to list deals and track how many were claimed and shared. Facebook is apparently doing away with this format because it found that businesses were having more success simply posting page links to their websites.

And there is a bit of good news for those who create ads using multiple ad formats. Facebook plans to introduce more consistency across all of its ads, both in the the way the ads look on the site as well as how they’re built behind the scenes. From the way this consistency is described by Facebook, you should be able to build one ad that works across multiple placements and devices, enabling you to determine where that ad is most effective.

Facebook expects to have all of these changes rolled out over the next six months. If you use Facebook Ads and you see some things changing in the back-end, we’d love to hear about it. Shoot us an email at

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