The splashy, image-driven format that Google introduced last year, called Gallery ads, is going to be phased out. In turn, Google will be focusing on image extensions, which is in beta.
Gallery ad beta testers are being informed that the format will be sunset beginning in August. The ads featured a large carousel of images. Although the format was great for the likes of the automotive industry with the auto ad unit, but didn’t work out as well for other verticals.
Image extensions are going to have a low barrier to entry, where Gallery ads needed to have an entire new ad format set up as well as needing effective image assets on hands.
Currently, image extensions are n closed beta, so until you’re whitelisted, you won’t see them in your accounts. Conrad O’Connell recently spotted the example blow:
Image Extensions began on just mobile, but is now being tested on desktop. The treatment is similar to organic listings, which also often features a similar thumbnail image, as you can see from the following organic example from TripAdvisor listings:
Google is even testing dynamic image extensions. Advertisers can upload image assets manually to their accounts, or go the dynamic rout and opt to let Google select images automatically from their sites. If advertisers do it manually, the images will be square, with the recommended size of 1200 x 1200.