Facebook, the largest social media network, is going to introduce ‘pre-roll’ ads — the ads that run before you get to watch the video you want to play — as a new strategy for video content.
Although for years, Facebook executives including Mark Zuckerberg were of the opinion that people don’t like pre-roll ads but they have now decided to go for those ones.
With this style, Facebook seems to be copying YouTube that also displays video-ads before the actual video starts.
However, the above lines don’t mean that your News Feed is going to be full of video ads you didn’t ask to see. The pre-rolls, which will run for up to six seconds, will only appear on videos in Facebook’s “Watch” hub, where people land and stay because they want to watch Facebook videos.
Not to mention, Facebook launched its Watch hub earlier this year, using “mid-roll” ads. Anyhow, the introduction of pre-roll ads shouldn’t be surprising for you because, after the launch of Watch, it could be predicted that the company is trying to make Facebook a long-form video platform rather than a place with scattered data of multiple genres.
Confirming the reports, Facebook’s blog says:
Today, the majority of video discovery and watch time happens in News Feed. News Feed provides a great opportunity for publishers and creators to reach their audience, drive discovery, and start to build deeper connections for their content.
Facebook is also updating ranking algorithm of its newsfeed. Now, the videos that will get the most views will jump to the top of the newsfeed and similar videos uploaded by the same page are likely to be displayed first in the newsfeed.
The Facebook blog post says:
Engaging one-off videos that bring friends and communities together have always done well in News Feed and will continue to do so.
Critics suggest that the fact Facebook is going to add pre-roll ads should be read as an admission that the mid-roll ads weren’t generating significant revenue for Facebook or the publishers putting video into Watch.