Facebook Canvas, a.k.a. Instant Articles for brands, officially launches

Facebook’s take on Instant Articles for advertisers is here.

The social network officially launched Canvas today, a full-screen, video mobile format that is intended to engage people more than a regular video ad. And, similar to Instant Articles, Canvas ads load 10 times faster than a standard mobile website.

Brands have been tinkering with Canvas ads on Facebook for the past few months, with Carnival Cruise Lines being one of the first. Carnival told Digiday that 50 percent of people who opened its Canvas ad watched the video to the end.

Gatorade, Michael Kors, Wendy’s and Target have also used Canvas. They and others have said that people actually engage with their ads, getting as much as 50 percent more clicks than a regular ad.

Notably, Facebook is charging companies the same price as a regular News Feed ad.

Facebook has been rapidly expanding mobile ads, which accounted for a staggering 80 percent of its $5.6 billion revenue in the last quarter. So, this new unit is good news for brands because people remember them and better news for Facebook because it keeps people using the social network.