Facebook testing new video ads

Since September of this year Facebook has been quietly testing an easier way to watch video shared by friends, without having to touch play or start the video. Facebook’s latest innovation as reported to the Facebook PMD partners this week has been leading to a 10% increase in the number of people who watch videos in the News Feed.

The News Feed is the most valuable piece of real estate on the web and in marketing and companies are struggling with how to optimize the native advertising they put I the News Feed.

Brands must not be too obtrusive because it creates negative brand sentiment, but they want people to be influenced- it’s a delicate balance. It’s only recently that bandwidth on mobile devices (i.e 4G) has emerged with high enough capacity to make video a viable alternative to photos. High mobile bandwidth will start to proliferate in the end of 2014 making video more widespread.

The video test facebook has underway is an upcoming movie .There are some key features to these videos:

  • Content plays as the video appears on the News Feed – no action required by the viewer. This video plays without sounds. If you don’t want to watch it you just scroll past it, if you want to hear the sound you need to tap on it and enable sound.
  • At the end of the video a carousel showing two more videos shows up for people who want to engage further
  • For mobile the videos will only download when there is WiFi connectivity for now – saving people data charges and not restricting bandwidth

This could be a very interesting advertising product in the coming six months – we’ll continue to keep an eye on it and give you more news, so check back on the blog or sign up to get updates automatically via email. 

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