Facebook Now Offering Mid-Roll Ads for Advertisers

By Kristin Vick | @krisvick | Account Manager at Hanapin Marketing

It’s hard to miss the video first initiative being made by almost every platform and advertiser, right now. We have seen a trend of interactive usage between cable and network television to visit websites and Facebook, participate in polls and watch additional content, to brands skipping cable all together and offering live content on Facebook, YouTube and other social media sites.

We see a trend of video content being consumed at a rate much faster than any text, or images that are shared. We all know that Facebook has been working to keep themselves on a competitive level for Social and Search advertising, and recently Facebook began testing “mid-roll” ads in videos on its platform. This has been described as “A move aimed to help media companies and the social network generate revenue from their growing video audiences”, according to people familiar with the matter.

First it is important to understand that Facebook video is only getting started, with the introduction of Facebook live, and easily sharing and posting videos to it’s platform, Facebook video posts have increased by 94% annually in the U.S.

Want more staggering information? Recode reported, “Facebook began moving aggressively to show videos to its users… as they were watching a combined 100 million hours per day.” Facebook will not only be measuring the number of videos a user watches, but more importantly the total time a user watches a video.

Still don’t know if you should try mid-roll advertising when it launches?

For now, Facebook is testing mid-roll ads which will give advertisers a chance to show ads after a user has viewed more than 20 seconds of video content, and the video itself is at least 90 seconds long. Also, these ads are also limited to non-live content. In addition to standard advertising options, advertisers will also be able to pick categories of videos in which they want their ads to run, such as sports or humor, and they can specify categories they want to avoid. Facebook will also allow 55% of total ad revenue to be shared with the publishers, similar to YouTube’s offerings.

There is no official word on if the video ad program is for keeps, but we will be keeping an eye out for our advertisers who are eager to make a move.

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