CJRW Instant Gratification Facebook Canvas Instant Articles

Time is always of the essence. We expect instant information like we expect running water. When we click on a link for an answer, we expect it now. More times than not, if there’s a delay, we’ll stop the inquiry process all together. Consumers want information faster than ever, and Facebook has the newest tools to give it to them. In the interest of keeping consumers happy, businesses have turned to Facebook, which is now offering particularly creative, interactive ways to grab and hold the attention of consumers.

At times, it can be intimidating and frustrating to navigate the online shopping experience. We are a mobile-obsessed society, and the mobile shopping experience is on the rise as the top purchasing method for many online shoppers. A survey created by Facebook shows nearly half of its users are coming to Facebook to actively look for products. Enter the opportunity for businesses to partner with Facebook to help elevate their products.

As a solution, Facebook has provided its Canvas platform for advertisers. Canvas allows advertisers to showcase its products on a platform that is optimized for mobile, allowing them to not be hindered by its own sites, which may not be optimized for mobile. On Canvas, consumers will see a fast-loading, full-screen experience where they can browse through a variety of products before making a purchase on a retailer’s website. Big brands like Wendy’s and Coca-Cola have already utilized Canvas as a new way to showcase their products.

During Wendy’s Canvas campaign, it  “deconstructed a cheeseburger and let people scroll, swipe, and see GIFs of different ingredients.” This campaign received 65 seconds of average view time, and 2.9% of viewers made it all the way to the bottom and used the Wendy’s restaurant locator. (To put that number into perspective, the average click-through rate across all ad formats is 0.06%.) 

Facebook says “early tests of Canvas show that users actually want to stick around and experience the ads. “53% of users who open a Canvas view at least half of it, and the average view time is a stunning 31 seconds.”

As helpful as Canvas is for advertisers, it isn’t the only way that Facebook is upping its game. Facebook’s Instant Articles are a new, innovative way for publishers to engage with users, pull them in, and entice them to follow along with their daily narrative. Waiting for an article to load is a thing of the past. If you can’t engage the consumer in the first 10 seconds – maybe less – they will disengage and find a new source for their information.

Instant Articles provide exactly what the name implies – they load instantly. Some of the most sophisticated features include video auto-plays and audio captions that allow users to hear the author’s voice while reading an article. Users can also engage with interactive maps and customize the typeface, color, and layout of an article so that it fits their brand style and standards. Google and Apple have been quick to jump on the bandwagon, with both launching their own instant article platforms. 

There’s no doubt social platforms are changing the advertising game on a daily basis. It’s been proven that they are helping brands achieve a certain level of innovation that they might not manage on their own. There’s an ever-changing laundry list of ways to grow your brand, business, and reach. Just make sure you don’t make the customer wait too long for results, because one thing is for sure: they will move on to your biggest competitor if it can serve up the service faster than you can.


Chaffey, D. (2015, April 21). Display advertising clickthrough rates. Retrieved April 5, 2016, from http://www.smartinsights.com/internet-advertising/internet-advertising-analytics/display-advertising-clickthrough-rates/

Lab Team. (2016, March 4). Fast Forward: Rich Media Comes To Facebook Ads. Retrieved April 5, 2016, from https://www.ipglab.com/2016/03/04/fast-forward-rich-media-comes-to-facebook-ads-what-you-need-to-know/

For more information about this topic, contact the author at caroline.reddman@cjrw.com.