Facebook’s first order of ad business in the new year is to ramp up its in-stream video ads. The social media giant has started testing 15-second-long mid-roll ads inserted in between videos select publishers posted on Facebook. The ads would only appear after those videos have played for at least 20 seconds. Advertisers will have similar targeting options for those new in-stream ads, as they will be able to pick content categories in which they want their ads to run, such as sports or humor, and specify categories they want to avoid.
Similarly, Facebook has also started testing inserting short-form video ads in Instagram Stories, the Snapchat Story clone feature it added five months ago, The ads will work similarly to Snap ads, as full-screen, skippable videos that pop up in between Stories. Nike, Airbnb, and Buick are among brands that are testing this new ad product. According to Facebook, Instagram Stories are now used by 150 million users on a daily basis.
What Brands Should Do
When Facebook first started testing mid-roll ads in Live video in August, it was anticipated that such efforts would soon come to non-live videos as well. Facebook claims that its users watch 100 million hours of video every day, and has recently made some tweaks in its apps to simplify video discovery. As Facebook continues to add new video ad products to its increasingly video-heavy social platforms, brands may consider adjusting their video budgets accordingly to reach today’s mobile consumers in a more targeted, effective way.