Facebook is announcing some new opportunities for video advertisers on Facebook and Instagram, as well as new numbers about the potential audience these ads could reach.
Numbers one: The company says it now has 2 billion people a month watching eligible videos for in-stream ads. It is also said that 70 percent of in-stream ads are tracked as they end, and his studies show that by adding a Facebook In-Stream campaign to purchase ads that already includes News and Stories, advertisers recorded a median 1.5-fold increase in ad recall.
As I discussed the news with Carolyn Everson, vice president of Facebook’s global business group, I wondered if traditional advertisers liked the company’s metrics. (Back in 2016, the company had to admit that it inflated the video review time due to a mistake and is still facing criticism for resolving the situation.)
Everson said Facebook wants to be “very specific” with its numbers. She also noted that the company only places in-stream ads in videos that last three minutes or longer, with the ad playing only after the viewer has watched them for at least 45 seconds (or more, depending on the video).
“I believe we will be a very competitive and consistent market,” she said. “Everyone measures these things a little differently, but those are the numbers that will make people very excited.”
On the product side, the company is launching a global In-Stream Video Topics test, which will allow advertisers to target their ads not only to the audience, but also based on the theme of a given video. In a blog post, Facebook says the initial targeting will include “over 20 video topics, such as sports, and over 700 hundred sub-topics such as baseball, basketball, golf or swimming.”
Everson said the company will use machine learning technology to classify eligible videos, as well as ensure they meet Facebook’s brand safety guidelines.
In addition, Facebook announces that it will begin testing ads in its short Instagram Reels format, initially in India, Brazil, Germany and Australia. These ads can last up to 30 seconds, and users can interact with them in the same way they interact with the organic content of the reels (liking, sharing, skipping).
And Facebook is testing sticker ads it announced last month, which will allow brands to create custom labels, which creators can then incorporate into their Facebook stories.
Looking at all the announcements together, Everson (who joined Facebook in 2011) said, “Honestly, for the last 10 years I’ve been so excited for the moment when we’re absolutely ready for a top term in our discussions of online video solutions for retailers. With our news that we are announcing today, we have arrived even more than that. “