Meta Is Consolidating Its ML-Powered Ad Offerings Into One Portfolio

Meta is bringing all of its automated ad products together under a single roof.

Meta is bringing all of its automated ad products together under a single roof.

Meta Advantage, which is what Meta is calling its new suite, may sound like a health plan but is really a home for Meta’s existing automated tools, including lookalike expansion, automated app ads and automatic placements, as well as the future home for other automated products in the works.

The suite, announced on Tuesday, should make it easier for advertisers to find, use and get value out of Meta’s automated ad offerings, according to a blog post by Goksu Nebol-Perlman, VP of product marketing for Meta’s ads and business products.

“As businesses navigate platform and privacy changes,” she wrote, “we know advertisers using our platforms are looking for ways to increase ad performance and achieve their business goals.”

Meta Advantage, however, does not include the new products Meta is working on to mitigate signal loss, such as Modeled Conversions, Aggregated Events Measurement and Private Lift Measurement.

A dose of skepticism

Although Facebook, and now Meta, has long pushed advertisers to embrace automation (Google has been doing the same), there’s been reticence along the way.

The platform promises that machine-learning-powered ad products require less manual labor and lead to better results at lower prices, but some buyers balked at the loss of control and lack of transparency.

Regardless, the trend is toward more automation, and it’s best to roll with it.

What’s new?

The ad products within the Meta Advantage portfolio fall into two categories: features that help advertisers augment a specific aspect of manual campaign setup (these are labeled as “Advantage”) and products that allow advertisers to automate the entirety of their setup or campaign flow (marked “Advantage+”).

Features under the Advantage umbrella include Lookalike Expansion (now renamed “Advantage Lookalikes”), which allows Meta to automatically reach people beyond the set parameters of a lookalike audience if its systems determine there’s better performance to be had with other characteristics.

Similarly, Detailed Targeting Expansion (new name: “Advantage Detailed Targeting” … sensing a theme here) uses the demographics, interests and behaviors selected by advertisers as a guide to find better performance opportunities outside of a defined audience.

Meta Advantage+ products, meanwhile (because all things must be followed by a plus sign), include Advantage+ App Campaigns (formerly Automated App Ads), Advantage+ Placements (formerly Automatic Placements) and Advantage+ Creative (formerly Dynamic Experiences).

Advantage+ App Campaigns, similar to Google’s App Campaigns product, uses machine learning to automatically deliver creative variations to what Meta’s ad systems determine to be the most relevant audiences and the most effective placements.

With Advantage+ Placements, Meta’s algorithm delivers ads to whichever surface it thinks will perform best, including across Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network. (Meta often enables automatic placements by default after launching new ad units in order to drive up ad demand.)

Advantage+ Creative automatically creates multiple ad variations in order to show personalized versions to people based on what they’re most likely to respond to.

And, by the end of the year, Meta plans to add one more product to the suite in the form of Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns (known now as “Automated Shopping Ads”), which optimizes creative, targeting, placement, budget and other campaign levers to find what Meta considers the best opportunities to drive conversions.

That product is still in beta.

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