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Facebook To Start Showing Mid-Video Ads
According to reports, Facebook is going to begin inserting advertisements in the middle of user-uploaded videos. While the social network has previously disallowed "pre-roll" video ads which are played before a video starts, they are starting to test the “mid-roll” advertising format which inserts advertisements into a video clip after a user has watched it for at least 20 seconds. According to Recode, “Facebook will sell the ads and share the revenue with publishers, giving them 55 percent of all sales. That’s the same split offered by YouTube.”
It’s not surprising that Facebook is experimenting with new ways to monetize its video content. A year ago the company announced that about 500 million users watch an average of 100 million hours of video per day. According to the last Facebook quarterly report, the social media platform averaged 1.18 billion daily active users as of September 2016. In the same report Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO, stated “We’re making progress putting video first across our apps and executing our 10 year technology roadmap.”
The company has also focused on its livestreaming video service. Last summer the social media platform experimented with introducing mid-roll ads during Facebook video livestreams. It has also introduced features such as Live Map, allowing users to view live Facebook video feeds based on their geographical location, as well as the ability to upload video into comments and replies on posts.
As the mid-roll advertisements will only be available on longer videos, the new advertising format may change the length of typical Facebook videos. TechCrunch predicts the shift will lead to “Encouraging more substance from video producers looking to use the platform to actually drive revenue,” and that it “could help put some pressure on quick turnaround content designed entirely to go viral with no focus on quality or substance.” Though there’s also the user experience aspect to consider. As annoying as pre-roll video ads can be on YouTube, a mid-roll ad sounds even more distracting to the end user and may create additional demand for ad blocking on Facebook videos.