Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Commercials In Facebook News Feed

Facebook is about to give us the dreaded commercials that many folks avoid by DVR. Can we please have a DVR for Facebook. Sigh.

Here is what Facebook is pitching now.

Since September, we have been testing an easier way to watch videos shared by friends. Without having to click or tap play, videos come to life in News Feed and start playing without sound. Through the course of this test, we’ve seen a more than 10% increase in people watching, liking, sharing and commenting on videos. It’s a better experience for people and it’s leading to increased engagement.

This week, we’re starting to test this richer storytelling format for advertisers. Compelling sight, sound and motion are often integral components of great marketing campaigns, particularly when brands want to increase awareness and attention over a short period of time. From launching new products to shifting brand sentiment, this video format is ideal for marketers who are looking to make a large-scale impact, and for people who will discover more great content in their News Feeds.

For this test, we’re working with Summit Entertainment and Mindshare to promote a series of videos for the upcoming film, Divergent. Some people will see these video ads come to life as they scroll through News Feed on mobile and desktop. Here’s how it will work:
Rather than having to click or tap on the content, videos will begin to play as they appear on screen — without sound — similar to how they behave when shared by friends now. If you don’t want to watch the video, you can simply scroll past it.

If the video is clicked or tapped and played in full screen, the sound for that video will play as well
At the end of the video, a carousel featuring two additional videos will appear, making it easy to discover more content from the same marketer

On mobile devices, all videos that begin playing as they appear on the screen will have been downloaded in advance when the device was connected to WiFi — meaning this content will not consume data plans, even if you’re not connected to WiFi at the time of playback
This format isn’t intended for every video ad or Page post video on Facebook; it meets specific needs for certain marketers with certain objectives. We’ll continue to refine this new way for brands to tell stories on Facebook to ensure the best experience for people and marketers.

Have a look below to see this new feature in action.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which videos start playing in News Feed?

At this time, videos start playing from:
Individuals (personal Facebook accounts or verified Pages)
Some Pages, like those of entertainers and sports organizations
Summit Entertainment’s content for Divergent

Is there a way to prevent these video ads from playing as they appear on screen?
The video ads will begin to play as you scroll through News Feed, but if you don’t want to watch, you can simply keep scrolling and the video will stop playing. Video ads that start playing when they appear on screen are pre-downloaded when you are on WiFi so they do not consume additional data.

When do videos play with sound?

Videos will not play with sound unless you turn the sound on. To do this, click or tap on the video.
When will all people start seeing videos from brands play as they appear on screen? 
When will all marketers be able to have videos play as they appear on screen?

This is an initial, limited test. We will let you know if/when the product becomes more widely available.

Will the pricing structure for these types of video ads be similar to the current Page post video offering?

We do not disclose pricing. The goal for this test feature is to be a premium advertising format on Facebook, intended to reach a large audience at specific times.

Eventually, will all promoted videos begin playing as they appear on screen?

This is an initial, limited test. We’ll determine future uses based on what we learn from this test.
How is this feature different from Page post video ads?

This premium feature is specifically designed for awareness campaigns that are meant to reach a large number of people to increase interest in a brand, product or content, in a short amount of time. Page post video ads can then come into play to sustain the message of this initial campaign over longer time periods, in more targeted ways.

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