Facebook is reportedly launching a new mid-roll ad format for videos posted on the platform. The social giant introduced a similar initiative for live broadcasts last year, and tech news website Recode said on Monday that Facebook is now trialling mid-roll ads for clips viewed for 20 seconds or more.
Video content consumption on Facebook has soared in recent years, so the revenue-generating potential is considerable and will potentially provide publishers with a new lucrative earnings stream. As reported by Recode, video publishers will receive 55 per cent of ad revenue when the format officially launches this year.
The move by Facebook to introduce a mid-roll format is designed to incentivise publishers and brands to create more engaging content during the first 20 seconds of a video so that viewers continue watching after an ad. However, it remains to be seen whether the new ad format will actually improve the user experience for social media viewers.
“By only allowing ads 20 seconds into a video, Facebook is taking an interesting approach by sending a clear message to publishers – create engaging content, or else your ads won’t be seen,” Joe Hyland, CMO of webinar platform ON24, said. “Facebook realizes that with video, engagement is more valuable than just clicks. I think it’s a shrewd move by Facebook to ensure only the most engaging content makes its way onto the platform.”
The new ads will be limited to 15 seconds at the most, and they will only be used for clips that have a run time of 90 seconds or more. In an email to news site Mashable, Facebook said that the model has been working well in trials and that they are now planning to expand it further and make it available to more partners.
Facebook stated that users now consume 100 million hours of video each day, so it is no surprise that it has decided to extend its ad formats, which are currently limited to sponsored posts that brands have to buy from the platform. Facebook VP of Partnerships Dan Rose also hinted at the development last year, but there has been no official confirmation from Facebook yet.