Facebook launches video advertising

14th Mar 2014

Facebook has announced it will be rolling out its Premium Video Ads which it’s been tentatively testing since December of last year. 

These 15-second long advertorial videos will appear in users' newsfeed pages and play automatically, sans sound. By tapping or clicking on the video, viewers can expand it into full-screen mode, at which point the sound will also start to play. Luckily, mobile users need not fret over any data allowance dilemmas this may pose, as Facebook assures us all that these videos will only be downloaded over Wi-Fi connections. 

Only a small, select crowd of advertisers – the identity of whom has not been disclosed – are currently being offered these ads on Facebook, and the videos will only be allowed to appear once they’ve undergone assessment. For this, Facebook are enlisting the help of Ace Metrix, whose job it is to ensure the content is suitably engaging and of high enough quality.

“Ace Metrix will allow us to objectively measure the creative quality of the video in the Facebook environment and highlight performance indicators for advertisers such as watchability, meaningfulness and emotional resonance,” reads the related company blog post.

This advertising opportunity is aimed at brands who want to use “high-quality sight, sound and motion” to reach large but specific audiences in a short amount of time - meaning that Facebook considers them rather similar to television ads. Also akin to TV advertising is the way these videos are to be monitored and paid for; the delivery of these adverts will be measured by Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings, with an agreement that “advertisers only pay based on what Nielsen OCR measures.”

Facebook’s efforts in controlling the quality of these videos and managing their introduction prudently are all very admirable - they have taken careful steps to ensure they don't compromise the user experience. The social network reassures us that “this limited introduction allows us to concentrate our efforts on a smaller number of advertisers with high-quality campaigns to create the best possible experience on Facebook.” However, there will no doubt be some users who are a little disgruntled at being faced with an even busier newsfeed than they currently have. 

Facebookers can expect Premium Video Ads to start cropping up on their home pages over the coming couple of months.

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