Facebook is currently testing search ads within search results and its Marketplace according to a confirmation by product manager Zoheb Hajiyani to TechCrunch.
The social media network originally trialled Sponsored ads back in 2012, but quickly shut them down again.
A select group of automotive, retail and eCommerce marketers are currently running the ads on search results pages for mobile users across the US and Canada.
The ads are repurposed News Feed ads that come in image or carousel format. Video is not currently being tested.
For advertisers, the addition presents an opportunity to test existing News Feeds ads within Search on mobile devices. All ads include a ‘sponsored’ tag and provide various transparency controls. Users can opt out of seeing search ads.
Marketplace search ads will be shown on Android and iOS, whilst Facebook search ads are only being tested on Android.
Facebook’s new search ads could create an additional revenue stream for the company. The ad type also enables advertisers to reach customers at a stage in the conversion funnel when they are planning a purchase already.
Consumers are more likely to search for products on social media compared to five years ago. Meanwhile, the launch also presents a direct stab at competitor Google.