Facebook videos to feature ‘mid-roll’ ads

A report suggests Facebook is about to start selling ads that will appear mid-way through videos - but only if they're long enough.

Facebook videos

Given the extent to which Facebook has embraced video in recent years, it won’t be a surprise to anyone that they are reportedly about to start testing a new ‘mid-roll’ ad format.

According to Recode – which cites industry sources – video publishers will soon have the option to insert ads in their videos. Facebook will sell the ads and the revenue will be split, with the publisher receiving a 55 per cent cut. Incidentally, that’s the same revenue split as YouTube.

Selected publishers have had the option to insert sponsored videos into their live streams since last August. But this latest development includes all videos across the network – including the News Feed.

The new feature will only be available on videos that are at least 90 seconds long, with ads only appearing after someone has watched a video for at least 20 seconds. At the moment a video view is counted when someone watches a video for at least three seconds, so this could signal a change of approach from Facebook.

Video content has exploded on Facebook in recent years. In 2014 there were ‘just’ 1 billion video views per day on the network, but by late 2015 that number had grown to staggering 8 billion. In early January Facebook revealed that users were watching 100 million hours of video content daily.

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