Social networking giant has long been focusing on its videos, and now it’s set to start showing more ads to people who watch videos on the platform, while also generating revenue for those who supply the site with those videos.
Sources within the industry state that the network is keen to begin testing a new format for its adverts, which will run “mid-roll”. This will give video publishers the opportunity to insert adverts into their videos once a user has viewed the clip for a minimum of 20 seconds.
Facebook is set to sell those ads, and then distribute the revenue with the video publishers, sharing 55% of the wealth generated by these videos. This matches the percentage of revenue that is offered by video-specific platform YouTube, the dominant force in the online video ad game.
Should Facebook decide that the tests are successful, this could be one of the first opportunities for video publishers to make money for their campaigns on the network. It is believed that by the end of last year, up to 100 million hours’ worth of videos were being watched on the platform on a daily basis.
This is something that microblogging site and social media rival Twitter looked into back in August. However, unlike competitors such as YouTube and Twitter, Facebook has opted for the “mid-roll” ad format instead of the more conventional “pre-roll” format that many users will be used to, as Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and founder of the site, has ‘forbidden’ this format on Facebook.
As a result of Zuckerberg’s views, most video publishers have yet to see any real revenue generated for the clips they share on Facebook, despite spending resources creating and building a presence on the site. This has also discouraged a lot of other publishers from putting content onto Facebook.
In the past, Facebook had invested time looking into other ways to create opportunities for video publishers, including an experimental separate video section. It has also begun testing these mid-roll ads in its Live videos.
With Facebook planning to introduce these ads, it shows that the company is now placing even more importance on the time users spend watching videos as opposed to the total number they watch. Mid-roll ads will appear in videos that last for at least 90 seconds, meaning that publishers will need to make longer clips and maintain the attention of users in order to start making any money.