In March, Facebook launched a small alpha test that introduced Facebook Exchange (FBX) ads in the News Feed. It appears that test was a success as the company just announced the expansion of the beta.

Launched last fall, FBX is a way for businesses to show ads to people on the social network based on their online browsing interests. Previously limited to the sidebar, Facebook’s alpha test introduced FBX-targeted ads in the News Feed.

With members spending a majority of their time on Facebook in the News Feed, this was an obvious progression. Even more enticing is the fact that News Feed ads generally have higher clickthrough rates than sidebar ads. Now this option is available to more advertisers.

“Stating today, additional businesses via Qualified DSPs can scale their FBX efforts from the Right Hand Side to the most engaging place on Facebook: News Feed,” stated Facebook. “All Qualified DSPs received beta access and now have the opportunity to begin implementing desktop Page Post Link Ads.”

Although previously consumers could only click on an ad and be taken to a third-party site, the new format introduces the options to Like, share, or comment on it. Aside from that, not much else has changed. The ads will appear in News Feed the same as any other Page Post Ad or Promoted Post bought through Facebook’s ad dashboard. Consumers won’t notice any difference either, except maybe for the improved relevancy of the ads.

A key benefit is that because this ad type uses Page Post Link ads, you can use Unpublished Posts to test and optimize different options. However, realtime dynamic creative — which allows on-the-fly creative modification — isn’t currently available for this format. The company is working to integrate it with FBX. Despite that, the option has promise.

Early results showed that FBX ads give a 16-time return on investment to advertisers, according to AdRoll, one of Facebook’s partners for the initial rollout. A full list of Qualified DSPs is available online; however, for more information on how to prepare for desktop Page post link ads in FBX, contact your Facebook account team.

[Via: Inside Facebook, Image credit: Ivan McClellan]