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Facebook Unveils Video Ads; YouTube Not Worried

8 Jul, 2015 By: Doug McPherson

MENLO PARK, Calif. – Facebook has unveiled video ads to a small group of publishers –including Fox Sports, the NBA, and “Funny or Die” – to cash in on all video views on its site, a reported 4 billion per day.

Facebook’s video ads will work differently from YouTube’s. Because pre-roll ads that auto-play in Facebook’s news feed could turn off users, it is instead adding commercials between video clips and hoping users will watch a string of videos in one sitting. Unlike the auto-play ads that populate the news feed, these ads will play sound automatically.

At the end of each clip, a “suggested videos” screen will appear with other videos that Facebook’s algorithms decided users might like. After every few, an ad will appear, and 55 percent of the money earned will be allotted to the publishers of the videos that came before and after, depending on how much of each were watched. Facebook takes the remaining 45 percent.

Since Facebook has not yet decided how much it will charge for these ads, the ones shown during testing will be pulled from the pool of video ads already paid to appear on the news feed at no extra charge to advertisers.

Analysts say if Facebook’s test run (already rolled out for the Facebook iOS app with an Android app to follow) is successful, then YouTube could be in for some serious competition.

Jan Rezab, CEO and co-founder of social media analytics company Socialbakers, told TechTimes, “Facebook could now be very serious competition for YouTube. And if I were Google, I would watch out.”

But YouTube is downplaying the threat and the company’s head of content and business operations Robert Kyncl told TechTimes, “It will be a decade before we bump into each other.”

Kyncl also believes the onset of Facebook and other players in the online video space reflect that video is “becoming mainstream.”

Facebook has been luring media companies into housing their videos on its pages purely by the promise of more eyeballs on their content. But that incentive alone is clearly not enough to feed the huge scale of the video platform that Facebook has become. However, without advertising built into its videos, analysts say Facebook is leaving money on the table. The new video new ads aim to fix that.

Facebook also recently introduced new features that allow advertisers to optimize their best-performing ads. It also announced a new partnership with IBM, integrating Facebook ad targeting capabilities – including Custom Audiences – with IBM Commerce’s offerings for marketing cloud clients, including IBM’s Journey Designer and Journey Analytics.

About the Author: Doug McPherson

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