Facebook ads would benefit from providing users with a mix of “intrinsic” and “social” value, according to a study published in the Journal of Advertising Research (JAR).

Caroline Lancelot Miltgen (Audencia Business School), Anne-Sophie Cases (University of Montpellier) and Cristel Antonia Russell (Pepperdine University) were the authors of this study, entitled Consumers’ responses to Facebook advertising across PCs and mobile phones: A model for assessing the drivers of approach and avoidance of Facebook ads.

They suggested that the growth of online ad blockers, combined with rising anxiety following numerous privacy scandals, point to the need for “a new mode” of social network advertising that is more respectful of consumer interests.

“Even though users leave numerous traces of their online behaviour in social networks, they do not necessarily welcome or accept the use of these traces for advertising purposes,” the trio of academics asserted.

Their analysis featured some 287 respondents, averaging out at 37 years of age. On average, participants had used Facebook for between four and five years and were typically active on the platform for 6.5 hours per week.

Based on the feedback from this cohort, the scholars asserted that the preferable approach for brands is to maximise “the benefits users perceive in the advertisements” in various ways.

One recommendation was that paid-for messages must provide “intrinsic value”, such as being entertaining or informative. Additionally, they should have “social value”, and enhance an individual’s cachet if they were to share an ad.

Another core insight: “Facebook advertisement acceptance was influenced positively by the attitude users had toward advertising in general and the number of friends in their social network.”

The results also flagged up the requirement for “device-specific navigational experiences”, as the views of respondents showed variation across the PC and mobile channels.

A demonstration: “People accessing Facebook primarily through their PC reported a higher perceived social value of Facebook advertisements.”

Equally, “the relationship between need for control and perceived intrusiveness only held for mobile users”, as people logging on to Facebook via these devices sought a greater ability to manage their ad experience.

While the number of friends a user had exerted a “positive influence on advertisement acceptance and privacy protection” for PC users, the authors further noted that “the relationship was negative among mobile users”.

Sourced from Journal of Advertising Research; additional content by WARC stuff