Facebook’s testing another ad-free Pages design for desktop

The trend of ad-free Facebook Pages continues.

Facebook has started testing another redesign of its desktop Pages that omits the ads that normally appear on the right-hand side of the page. A reader tipped us off to the new look, and a Facebook spokesperson confirmed that this is one of the ad-free layouts the company is trying out, in addition to the one we reported on last month.

Here are a couple of examples of what the latest layout being tested looks like:

Based on the two experimental layouts, Facebook seems to have four ideas in mind of how it wants to change the current look of its desktop Pages: separate the profile photo from the cover photo, move the navigation menu to the left side of the page, move the page information boxes to the right side and remove the right-side ads altogether.

The seeming inevitability of Facebook removing ads from its desktop Pages may not be that big a deal. For starters, even if Facebook does pull them from desktop Pages, it doesn’t mean it’ll pull them from its desktop home page or people’s profile pages. And ads on its desktop Pages may not bring in enough money to justify them crowding the page when Facebook might prefer to free up that room to make Pages even more of a hub for businesses, publishers and celebrities, as it’s doing with the mobile version of Pages.

Facebook’s desktop ad business remains a significant, if small, revenue stream, and the right-hand ads are the smallest part of that supplementary stream. In the first quarter of 2016, 18 percent of Facebook’s overall ad revenue came from its desktop ads. But Facebook is serving up fewer desktop ad impressions than it used to, and the likely majority of the ones it is serving are news feed ads, the company’s cross-device cash cow that rakes in more money per ad than the seemingly endangered desktop-only right-hand ads.

About The Author

Tim Peterson
Tim Peterson, Third Door Media's Social Media Reporter, has been covering the digital marketing industry since 2011. He has reported for Advertising Age, Adweek and Direct Marketing News. A born-and-raised Angeleno who graduated from New York University, he currently lives in Los Angeles. He has broken stories on Snapchat's ad plans, Hulu founding CEO Jason Kilar's attempt to take on YouTube and the assemblage of Amazon's ad-tech stack; analyzed YouTube's programming strategy, Facebook's ad-tech ambitions and ad blocking's rise; and documented digital video's biggest annual event VidCon, BuzzFeed's branded video production process and Snapchat Discover's ad load six months after launch. He has also developed tools to monitor brands' early adoption of live-streaming apps, compare Yahoo's and Google's search designs and examine the NFL's YouTube and Facebook video strategies.