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Facebook's new Brand Ad tools take onTV

Facebook's one and a half billion monthly active users give it just as big an audience as television networks, and now the social network is going after advertisers who have relied on the 30-second spot.

The company is launching new tools for ad deployment and measurement that speaks Madison Avenue's TV-centric language.

Facebook is kicking of Advertising Week— a series of panels, speakers, and meetings between agency and brand execs—by unveiling a slew of new tools that target brand advertisers. This particular group is interested in impressions rather than direct response advertisers, who are trying to drive consumers to click-through and buy.

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The social network also announced a new stat; it now has 2.5 million active advertisers on the platform, 25 percent more than in February.

Now, Facebook plans to use the language and currency of TV to sell ads to them. The company is introducing a way for advertisers to use Target Rating Points— as in TV ratings—as the metric with which they plan, buy and measure the success of those ads.

Nielsen is coming on as a partner to verify Facebook's delivery of ads to the target audience, and Nielsen's new Target Ad Ratings system can verify the total ratings point delivery for Facebook and TV combined.

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The social network is making a big point that its offer complements TV advertising.

A new stat from a Facebook-commissioned study conducted by Nielsen shows that combining TV and Facebook ads gives advertisers a 19 percent increase in targeted reach, compared to TV alone, expanding to 37 percent for Millennials.

The Nielsen study of 42 campaigns also shows that Facebook campaigns were more efficient. The data showed it was twice as likely to hit their target audience than TV impressions alone, and more effective and getting people to remember their ads.

While Facebook emphasizes its complementary nature to TV, by improving its brand ads the social platform is increasingly becoming a legitimate alternative to TV.

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Facebook is also announcing something called "brand awareness optimization," to allow companies to bid on the objective of finding audiences that are most likely to recall an ad—and getting them to spend time on that ad.

In addition, brands can now conduct mobile polling of consumers to see how effective ads are. Also, Facebook is expanding the carousel format to include video. The format, which allowed advertisers to show consumers a series of photos, can now can be used to show a series of videos as well.