Times are Changing: Meta’s AI-Powered Features Bring In New Era for Advertising Tech

Meta's AI-Powered Features Bring In New Era for Advertising Tech

In a move that could potentially reshape the adtech landscape, Meta has announced its latest foray into the world of artificial intelligence for advertising. The company formerly known as Facebook is set to roll out a suite of new generative AI features that can create ad backgrounds, expand images, and generate multiple versions of ad text based on original copy. 

Using a new suite of generative AI tools, brand advertisers will soon be able to adjust creative assets to fit different aspect ratios across multiple surfaces, like Feed or Reels, and generate any number of versions of ad copy to highlight different selling points for individual audiences or services. The generative AI features won’t necessarily make ads better or more compelling, but they will make it so brands can spend less time and resources repurposing creative assets on Meta’s platform.

The rollout of Meta’s first generative AI-powered features for ad creatives in the Ads Manager has already begun. A complete rollout is expected by next year, but the social media giant has plenty more in store before then.

At the company’s Meta Connect 2023 event last week, executives announced plans to launch a number of other generative AI products, like stickers and editing tools, as well as AI-powered smart glasses and Quest 3, a mixed-reality headset. Earlier this year, Meta also announced AI Sandbox, where the company has been testing generative AI features with a small set of advertisers. 

While Meta’s new generative AI tools aren’t especially exciting to the average consumer, they could be a major boost to the advertisers that deliver the majority of the company’s revenue. 

According to David Zapletal, chief operating officer at Digital Remedy, a performance marketing partner for brands and agencies, Meta’s aggressive push into AI should be seen as a multipronged strategy to both serve end-users and advertisers, and maybe more importantly, to continue to boost the company’s stock.

“It seems they’re taking a ‘kitchen sink’ approach to make a substantial land grab in the AI sector, likely to offset some of the skepticism surrounding their focus on the Metaverse,” Zapletal says.

The Power of Generative AI

Generative AI is a highly advanced form of artificial intelligence that can generate human-like text and images. Within the advertising industry, the technology has been harnessed to expedite creative processes. By analyzing vast datasets and predicting consumer behavior, generative AI can also craft highly personalized and engaging content for advertisers.

Meta’s decision to delve deeper into AI comes at the heels of an internal survey that found the majority of advertisers believe generative AI will save them time — averaging five or more hours per week. Nearly all advertisers in Facebook’s survey indicated that they believe generative AI will eventually help them drive campaign performance.

That’s no surprise to Uri Lichter, chief operating officer at Intango, a search and contextual adtech company that regularly works with brands and advertisers. Lichter says Meta’s foray into generative AI is about more than just operational efficiency. In his view, it also signals a leap forward for contextual advertising more broadly.

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