However, Facebook does plan to preserve some discrete ad types – for instance, Mobile App Install ads, its mobile-only ads geared to app developers, and in-store Offers geared to brick-and-mortar retail promotions. Online-only offers will go away, though.
Additionally, Facebook said there will be no changes on the back-end, either to the pricing of ads or to the bid mechanics that determine how ads are matched to placements.
The move raises the question of advertiser control, just as Google's mandatory shift to Enhanced Campaigns, which combine desktop and mobile ad spend. Unlike the Google move, Facebook says it will continue to support segmentation between desktop and mobile buys.
On a first glance, fewer ads might seem to spell trouble for the 44 Ads API certified partners in Facebook's Preferred Marketing Developer program, since some PMDs have arguably benefited from the complexity and confusion. Not so, says Facebook's director of product marketing Brian Boland.
"We are absolutely an ecosystem company," Boland said. "A lot of PMDs are migrating to business outcomes. The reason they're driving success is not because of complexity. It's in spite of the complexity. This work on the simplicity front is going to be a benefit to PMD partners."
Forrester Research analyst Nate Elliott likewise doubted any negative impact on PMDs.
"That deep optimization that a Kenshoo or a Clickable provides will still go through algorithms that run lots of different creatives and optimize against the best ones," Elliott said.