Facebook Plans Pre-Roll Advertisements

Isaac Cain
December 16, 2017

The ads will last six seconds and only show up before videos you seek out in Facebook's Watch section.

The key change to video monetization is how Facebook handles Ad Breaks, with shorter content no longer eligible for these ads. They are the minimum requirements for Facebook to test mid-roll ad breaks, of course.

The company has made other changes, some announced and others not, to prioritize different types of videos on its platforms. Almost all the production agreements were slated to end with the new year, however, some may last through the start of 2018. In August it created a video service, called Watch, initially with shows from the likes of Vox and Discovery Communications Inc but with plans to let people submit shows as they do on Alphabet Inc's YouTube. The company has assured users that they won't be seeing these ads in their News Feeds, lamenting that such a location doesn't "work well" for those kinds of adds.

Pre-roll ads are commonly used to support online videos, but Facebook has long opted for "ad breaks" during videos.

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"Engaging one-off videos that bring friends and communities together have always done well in News Feed and will continue to do so", the company said in the blog post. The Discover tab in Watch will also prioritise shows that people come back to.

Videos that are part of a series or from creators churning out regular content will now get preferential placement in the news feed. So, come next year, the social networking giant will kickstart with 6-second pre-roll as a test.

"Our consumer research showed that moving from 90 second to three minute videos with Ad Breaks improved overall satisfaction". The update includes improved metrics such as a dedicated ad break insights tab as well as two new metrics - ad break impressions at the video level and ad break CPMs at the video level. "Viewer satisfaction numbers are typically hard to lift, so this indicates a positive shift - increasing the likelihood people will continue watching the content through the break".

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