Facebook reveals an increased use of pre-roll ads and more…

Facebook reveals an increased use of pre-roll ads and more…

We’ve all heard of Watch – Facebook’s platform for shows. Having released this to a small US-based audience in August 2017, Facebook shared episodes — live and recorded — that followed a storyline or theme. With promising results, Facebook are now keen to build a wider interest, and have introduced new incentives for publishers to get involved.

Instead of paying for content creation from publishers, like they have done before, Facebook would like to shift to include pre-rollvideo ads that gate the content instead-and there you have it: competition for YouTube!

In a recent blog post, Facebook stated that they will roll out a number of options for video ads. Variety has never been a problem for this money-making machine! Here is what they are currently testing:

  1. Pre-roll Ads- as well as gating approved Watch shows, these will now be included in search results and on Page Timelines.
  2. Preview Trailers- this new format will play an ad just before users want to view a sneak preview of approved Watch shows on their News Feed.
  3. Ad Breaks Auto Insertion- a tool that will simplify the process of understanding when and where it is best to fit in ad breaks within the content.
  4. Pre-Publish Brand Safety Check- a shiny new feature that allows content creators to present videos for review before posting, ensuring the content makes the most out of ad opportunities.

Pre-roll ad formats have always been rated negatively by users, which is why Zuckerberg chose not to go down this route.  Instead, we saw mid-roll ads. These, however, are less likely to be watched, as users drop off the video before reaching the ad.

It’s obvious that pre-roll ads have a higher chance of being viewed. In line with this announcement, to help brands create better, higher value video content, Facebook posted a list of best practices for shows. You can find the list here: https://media.fb.com/2018/04/20/best-practices-and-updates-on-video-and-monetization/

We’re looking forward to seeing how Facebook users react to the interference of commercials. The pre-roll ads will be limited to 6 seconds in length, and Facebook state that it’ll most probably work if the viewing experience is ‘intentional’ – where people proactively look for content to watch.

Facebook might have ambitions to take on TV but will they ever be able to build an actively engaged audience?

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