At Cannes, Facebook debuted an immersive and personalized mobile ad unit. Will advertisers buy in?

Facebook has demonstrated a new ad idea at Cannes, showing advertisers what the company's mobile future could be.

During his presentation at Cannes, Chris Cox, product chief for Facebook, showed attendees a mockup of the new ad model in a video featuring an immersive mobile ad for Michael Kors. In the video, when users click on the fashion brand's sponsored post in Facebook's app, they will be directed to an ad where they can move their fingers across the screen and pinch to spin around a Michael Kors watch to have a 360-degree view of the product.

Omer Kaplan, co-founder of global technology company ironSource, believes that if Facebook can roll out the mobile format officially, the move will strengthen the platform's position as a "mobile first" company.

"Facebook's latest announcement demonstrates their understanding that the mobile medium requires ad units that are designed for mobile first, as opposed to imported from the desktop or offline worlds," Kaplan says. "It's not enough to say that native, social, and video ads are delivering better return on investment than display or banner ads. If we truly want to leverage the power of mobile, we need to find a way to talk to users in the language they have developed on mobile. Facebook's immersive, panoramic and interactive ad formats do exactly that, and we can expect to see many more ad-tech providers following suit."

The rich media ad will seamlessly blend into users' news feeds, just like an advertising version of Instant Articles where Facebook hosts content for nine major publishers such as BuzzFeed. The format could allow brands to build their own mobile websites on the platform without leaving the Facebook ecosystem.

Facebook's mobile ad idea (Read more...) not new for the industry, as a few ad-tech companies like Amobee already started experimenting with more advanced 3-D ads on mobile. But if Facebook is willing to invest in panoramic ads, the company could make this ad format become more widely adopted, according to Ammiel Kamon, senior vice president of products at Amobee.

"Digital can be highly engaging. We are glad that Facebook could embrace panoramic ads. We want this type of interaction to be an industry standard," Kamon says. "Facebook is collaborative with its partners, and we are part of the community. We'd like to develop interactive ads with Facebook."

Facebook doesn't have a product roadmap, as the company is still gauging advertisers' interest and asking them for feedback at Cannes. But given the fact that Facebook has already developed a prototype, an official release shouldn't be too far away.

Homepage image via Shutterstock.

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