Facebook rolling out ads in the middle of videos

24 Feb 2017

Facebook app. Image: Twin Design/Shutterstock

Publishers creating video content on Facebook are set for a financial boom, if the latter’s new advertising project catches fire.

Facebook is introducing ads in the middle of ‘on-demand’ videos hosted on its social media site, in a bid to increase revenues for publishers using the platform.

If the ads are longer than 20 seconds, and ad breaks are more than two minutes apart, publishers will benefit from a new format that will see them receive 55pc of the ad revenue. Facebook will pocket the other 45pc.

US accounts with more than 2,000 followers, and that have reached 300 or more concurrent viewers for recent live videos, are eligible.

The 55pc-45pc split is a clear incentivising scheme by Facebook, encouraging more and more video content on its platform. This is a notable challenge to the likes of Snapchat, which also targets video content creators.

In truth, this would be just one of many attempts by Facebook to keep up with Snapchat’s meteoric rise.

Facebook’s push to get more video content on its platform, and indeed more news publishers on board, reflects the state of the media today: social media is now a dominant performer in news reporting, as abstract a sentence as that sounds.

Last summer, a detailed report showed that more than a quarter (28pc) of people aged 18-24 said social media was their main source of news, compared to 24pc who cited television.

While more than one in 10 of the overall sample (12pc) said social media was their main source, for every group under 45, online news is now more important than television news.

Facebook is the dominant social media when it comes to accessing news, with 44pc of the total sample – and two-thirds of Facebook users – saying they use it to access the latest information.

So monetising content, and attracting news providers – as well as entertainment and sport strands of the media – is a priority.

The current programme will see ads lasting 20 seconds, with a beta test beginning now with a selection of partners.

“We welcome all eligible creators to participate in the next round of beta testing,” said Facebook.

“Starting today, and rolling out over the next several days, Pages and profiles [that] qualify for the test will receive notifications the next time they go live.”

Facebook app. Image: Twin Design/Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic