Have you been interrupted by the new Facebook ad?

Lots of changes in the social media world this week. Facebook jumped on the “story” train, rethought their ad placement and added a separate feed for personalized content delivery. Users will also soon have access to a new feature that lets them overlay special effects on photos and videos. They can then share this content to a Snapchat clone called ‘Facebook Stories’ that appears above your News Feed. You might have also noticed a rocket ship icon down along the bottom navigation on mobile. Look for it alongside the misclick prone ‘marketplace’ icon. This rocket ship will deliver content based on what Facebook believes you will like.

But the biggest change for Facebook this week has been the addition of advertisements hidden within Facebook videos. By now you have experienced a Facebook ad interrupting one of your Facebook videos. I was casually watching a cooking video when a commercial for International Delight Latte’s cut in. There was no skip option and by the time the commercial finished playing, I had forgotten what recipe I had even been watching! From the user perspective it was irritating.

Facebook Stories

These ad breaks are essentially mini-commercials that may or may not run after a video has played for 20 seconds and “must be at least two minutes apart.” If you haven’t experienced it yet, you will soon. Facebook has said it will no longer show pre-roll ads before a video plays like YouTube does and that these ad breaks are the social network’s first real effort to monetize video to date. Previous attempts included the suggested videos that automatically played after a video you were watching finished.

Let’s take a look at this from a digital marketing perspective.

What does monetizing video mean? Facebook released the following updates:

  1. Eligible publishers can now make money from in-stream video ads through Audience Network, which places ads from Facebook’s advertisers onto third-party websites and apps.
  2. On Facebook, they’re expanding the test of Ad Breaks in Facebook Live to additional profiles and pages.
  3. We have started testing Ad Breaks in on-demand video on Facebook with a small number of partners.

Ad Breaks in on-demand video allow publishers to insert advertisement breaks into uploaded videos, or into existing videos in their Facebook libraries. Facebook is looking to analyze, learn, and iterate on the early version of this feature in hopes that it will expand to additional partners in the future. While all is well and good for those profiting from these changes, users should expect video advertisements to filter in through their Facebook content more and more. It seems they aren’t going anywhere soon.


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