Meta on Wednesday previewed new AI-powered features for ad creatives in Meta's Ads Manager.
The new features -- expected to be rolled out around the world next year -- include Background Generation, Image Expansion and Text Variations.
Background Generation creates different backgrounds for advertiser's images. Image Expansion helps with repurposing by adjusting to different aspect ratios across Feeds or Reels. Text Variations generates multiple versions of text based on the advertiser's original copy.
The benefit for advertisers
The social media giant that owns Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp said the new generative AI features can save advertisers five or more hours a week and reduce "creativity fatigue."
While Gartner analyst Andrew Frank said he couldn't speak to whether generative AI tools like the ones Meta is rolling out will help save much time, he said the capabilities hold some benefits to advertisers.
Andrew FrankAnalyst, Gartner
"The parts that will be most appealing are the features that are intended to eliminate a lot of the mundane work associated with rendering and adding different formats for different templates and things like that," Frank said.
While saving time is essential, the subtle benefits of using generative AI could help a marketing department that's more focused on being strategic, he continued. This strategic focus could include making ads more relevant, better aligned with audiences and more effective.
Despite some subtle benefits of generative AI features such as the ones Meta offers for advertisers, the main challenge for advertisers is being able to trust AI vendors with their data.
While Meta has created an effective method of connecting suitable targeted ads to consumers, the way it does so could be more apparent to the advertisers themselves, some say.
For example, on Facebook, consumers are shown ads depending on their behavior on the app. While that is helpful to Facebook's algorithm, it's unclear which algorithms are working behind the scenes to understand the consumer's behavior.
"On the one hand, to protect privacy, [Meta] wants to be secretive about the information they're using to do this targeting," Frank said. "I imagine that advertisers are concerned that their advertising is just helping Meta to get smarter, but they're not getting the benefits of that learning because it's all taking place behind the curtain."
Asked for comment, a Meta spokesperson referred TechTarget Editorial to a Sept. 27 Meta blog post about building generative AI features responsibly.
Moreover, the tech industry needs more guardrails and standards for generative AI features like these, Frank said. While Meta's newest AI features are not controversial, they highlight that as generative AI becomes more a part of everyday life, there needs to be more concern about its effects, he added.
"Just as social media has had so many side effects that were not necessarily anticipated when we first started using it," Frank said.
Meta also revealed that advertisers and businesses can expect more AI features and products soon, for applications such as business messaging on Messenger and WhatsApp.
Esther Ajao is a TechTarget Editorial news writer covering artificial intelligence software and systems.