5th May 2023

POV: Meta Bringing AR Ads to Reels


At the IAB NewFronts in New York this week, Meta announced it is bringing Augmented Reality to Reels Ads and Facebook Stories, as well as other enhancements and improvements to Reels ads.

Details and Implications:

Meta is expanding its AR ads offering and introducing new Augmented Reality (AR) ad types across Instagram Reels and Facebook Stories as it looks to provide brands with more ways to engage users with immersive ad formats. The company had previously only offered AR ads in the Facebook Feed, Instagram Feed, and Instagram Stories.

Meta’s data shows that these ads were successful in driving incremental ad recall with 18-24-year-olds 87% of the time, outperforming non-AR-enabled ads. Now these AR ads can run in other prominent places on Meta's platform, such as Facebook and Instagram Reels and Facebook Stories.

Sephora and Tiffany & Co. have both tested Meta’s AR Reels ads ahead of the launch. Sephora’s ad had users press their thumb on the screen to generate an “aura vibe” filter to help them pick the most fitting fragrances and make a purchase. It said that over half of the ad’s audience was Gen Z users. Tiffany & Co.’s AR ad placed users in its 5th Avenue flagship store to browse the jewellery.

As well as the expansion of its AR ads, Meta also announced other new updates to Reels ad options to make them more interactive. The new features include larger CTA buttons on the screen with an ad thumbnail, headline and additional business details to help direct interested customers to click. Facebook users will also be able to pause a video ad and preview where the link would take them, potentially driving an increase in click-through rates for Reels Ads.

Improvements to Meta’s shopping ads within Reels are also on the way with new multi-destination product ads, like its carousel ad format. Instead of an ad pointing solely to a retailer’s website or single product page, viewers can swipe through multiple product images without leaving the Reel they’re watching.

Finally, Meta also said that marketers can now work with select third-party measurement companies on Reels Ad campaigns. These companies include Double Verity, IAS and MOAT who are helping Meta test and launch a Reels Viewability reporting option that will roll out when testing is complete.


Meta's investment in AR technology could help it better compete with Snap for advertising revenue, especially as it aims to reach the younger Gen Z audience who have shown a preference for AR features. Additionally, the recent enhancements to Reels ads provide brands with more opportunities to tap into the popularity of this format, which is currently the fastest growing content type on Meta's platform.

Further Reading:

TechCrunch | Social Media Today | Adweek | AdAge

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