Hundreds of retailers and e-commerce stores use social media websites to interact with consumers, increasing engagement and encouraging electronic payments. In turn, social media providers work to offer businesses better tools for online marketing. Recently, Facebook released its newest service for Web-based advertising.

Canvas: A fast, full-page experience
Many brands have already used Facebook to capture consumer attention. Ads in users' news feeds have definitely been successful in this way, delivering a personalized, omnichannel shopping experience to consumers. Mobile users come across an interesting brand or product while on Facebook and click ads to view the business's website.

Unfortunately, Facebook noted, this is where many brands miss the mark. Their webpages often look distorted when viewed on a smartphone or tablet. Such sites are also bigger than before and thus slower to load. This is frustrating for consumers, and they're likely to abandon a page that doesn't appear after a few seconds.

Facebook saw the chance to help advertisers fix this problem and created Canvas. The new service, which launched Feb. 25, 2016, is still a part of the Facebook platform but acts as a full-screen ad for businesses. Retailers can customize Canvas in any manner they choose, mixing content video, pictures and text. What's more, businesses can place call-to-action buttons to receive newsletter signups and online payments directed straight from Facebook.

"We made the creative community a priority when we designed and built Canvas," said Chris Jones, Facebook Creative Shop's head of creative technology, at the company's announcement. "It's a product that represents our commitment to creative craft and delivering the best mobile experience for businesses and people."

Easy to use for companies and consumers
According to TechCrunch, businesses don't need a coding expert to start using Canvas. The service lets marketers drag and drop images, text areas, videos, GIFs and more. They can also target the full-screen ads to various demographics, and Canvas comes at no additional cost. Businesses just pay the same rates they've been paying for news feed marketing. 

Canvas won't bombard Facebook users with an abundance of ads, TechCrunch said. In fact, early tests showed users reacted positively to the new experience. Of those who opened a Canvas ad, 53 percent viewed at least half of it. The average time spent on Canvas was 31 seconds, while some of the more popular ads were observed for over a minute.

Facebook created Canvas to help online marketers provide a better experience for consumers. Businesses should take advantage of the new product to engage shoppers and encourage electronic payments.

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