Facebook has spent years working to improve its ad technology.
But it’s now facing a new challenge: Its ads look bad.
The tech giant is now the subject of a major study from ad agency and advertising company WPP that finds that Facebook’s ads are nearly three times more distracting than those of competitors like Twitter and Snapchat.
“Facebook is currently the most highly trafficked website in the world, with nearly a billion monthly active users, and yet we have found that it’s one of the most difficult ads to engage with,” said WPP’s Matt Wood, the study’s lead author.
“We have found it is extremely difficult to create a compelling and relevant ad.”
In a statement, Facebook said it is “deeply committed to helping advertisers understand what makes their ads effective.”
The study comes as the tech giant has become more aggressive in its advertising strategy, including launching a new ad platform called News Feed Ads, which is designed to bring more native content to the platform, including videos, photos, and videos with images.
“It is our hope that our partnership with WPP will bring a broader and deeper understanding of the ad experience to advertisers, and help them create a more effective advertising experience that is relevant to their audience,” Facebook said in a statement.
“The data and data analysis conducted by WPP is an important contribution to Facebook’s efforts to improve the advertising experience on our platform.”
It’s also the first time that Facebook has been singled out in an ad review for its advertising performance.
In the WPP study, the social network was ranked as one of “the worst advertisers in the market,” with only 22% of the ads on the site being rated as “good” or “excellent.”
While it’s not clear why the social networking giant is ranked as the worst, WPP said that the “trends that are emerging around social media advertising” are pushing the company into “the bad advertising space.”
While Facebook says its ad tech is now “up to snuff” with the new platform, it has yet to show any evidence that the site is improving its ad experience.
“Our hope is that we can help companies create a better user experience,” Facebook’s Wood said.
“But as this study suggests, we must be mindful of how we are using our platform to reach our customers.”
Facebook said that WPP had previously used data from its network of over 100 million ads to analyze the site, and that the study was conducted independently.
“For the first and only time, we have seen that the platform has a lot of room for improvement,” Facebook added.