In keeping with its goals to simplify its ad offerings, Facebook announced that it will no longer support inline rich media — such as Adobe Flash — in desktop ad campaigns starting on September 30th.

The social network has been working toward streamlining its ad units and tailoring its offerings directly to brands’ needs. And rather than letting rich media be used as a “catch-all,” Facebook is focusing on formats tailored to unique objectives, including photos, videos, and videos.

According to a spokesperson for the company, people respond best to content from brands when it looks and feels like content they see from friends. Currently, the desktop rich media experience doesn’t align with user-generated content. This will allow brands to create video or photo ads that resonate better with their desired audiences.

At this time, inline rich media only applies to desktop campaigns because these links use flash technology to expand directly from a Page post link ad within the News Feed experience. On mobile, rich media triggers an interactive HTML5 experience in a full-screen browser. This creates a frictionless transition without causing disruption within the News Feed.

The social network’s advertising guidelines have been updated to reflect this new rule. Moving forward, your ads cannot contain audio or flash animation that plays automatically without an individual’s interaction or expands within Facebook after someone clicks on the ad.

Unless you regularly use this type of ad, the upcoming change shouldn’t impact the way you structure your advertising campaigns. The company noted that it has already discussed this decision with third-party partners, so chances are you’re already preparing for the September 30th deadline. Agencies, if you have clients that regularly use this type of ad, you should make them aware of the upcoming changes.

[Via: Inside Facebook, Image credit: Ed Yourdon]