Facebook Gives Advertisers More Choice for Buying In-Stream Video Ads

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The social network also shares plans for cracking down on spammers featuring fake video play buttons

On the heels of announcing its new show platform Watch, Facebook is giving advertisers more choice in terms of what kind of ads they run and where. Yesterday, the social network revealed that advertisers can now run solely in-stream video ads across Facebook, its ad network Audience Network, or both and that they no longer have to purchase News Feed ad placements first as they did in the past.

“As video watching behaviors continue to change, we will continue to give advertisers more flexibility and control over their ad placements and look for more ways to provide audiences with great ad experiences across devices, content types, and ad formats,” a Facebook Business post reads.

According to the post, more than 70% of in-stream video ads up to 15 seconds long are fully viewed, and the majority are consumed with the sound on. The post also states that in-stream ads attain an 89% on-target rate.

A few brands have already seen early success with in-stream ads. For instance, the post cited how SYFY – a  science fiction, fantasy, and horror channel – ran in-stream ads on Facebook for a network rebranding effort, resulting in an 11-point increase in ad recall, a four-point boost in message association, and an 83% average view-through rate. Universal Music also experienced video completion rates of 80% or higher, the post notes, after it targeted Lana Del Rey fans and those of similar artists across partners within Audience Network for the U.K. release of her album.

In addition to giving advertisers more ad options yesterday, Facebook established some new ground rules. The social network's engineers Baraa Hamodi, Zahir Bokhari, and Yun Zhang announced in a separate news post that Facebook will be “demoting” stories featuring fake video play buttons or static images that look like videos in the News Feed. The engineers explain that spammers include these images to lure people into clicking on them (thinking it will cause a video to start playing) and drive people to “low quality websites.”

The post says that this change will begin to take effect within the “coming weeks.”

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