Facebook Adds Mobile Video, Publisher Features

After Facebook users had trouble accessing the social network Monday morning, the company confirmed the problem, but said the site was back to normal. The service disruption, estimated to last about 25 minutes, didn’t stop Facebook from announcing other new features for advertisers and media companies on Monday.

One involves Facebook adding video to its mobile app ad format. The company said potential customers will now be able to click to watch a video promoting an app before installing it.

“Video creative has proven to be an effective way to drive engagement in News Feed, and we look forward to helping developers use their video creative to find new app installs,” stated a Facebook blog post today. Developers will now also be able to bid on app ads on a cost-per-action (CPA) basis, as well as on a cost-per-click (CPC) and CPM basis.

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Marketers opting for CPA bidding are only charged when someone downloads and installs their app. Based on internal Facebook tests, the company said buying on a CPA basis, on average, results in a 20% lower cost per install than through CPC. The new video creative and CPA-buying options will roll out over the next several days to all developers and advertisers.

The move comes after Facebook last month announced a test of autoplay videos in the mobile news feed, limited initially to musicians and celebrities. The steps are seen as preliminary to the long-rumored rollout of video advertising on Facebook widely, with targeted 15-second spots that will sell for upwards of $1 million per ad.

Separately, Facebook has started testing a new feature aimed at helping publishers identify the most engaging content to promote through the social network. The new “Stories to Share” functionality for media companies and publishers with a presence on Facebook suggest stories to share on the site within their analytics (Insights) dashboard.

“For instance, Time can see suggestions of stories it has published to TIME.com but have not yet shared to their Facebook fans,” stated a blog post by Justin Osofsky, vice president of media partnerships and global operations, at Facebook.

In a test with 29 media sites over a seven-day period, a 57% average increase in the number of articles posted to their Facebook pages increased referral traffic by over 80%, according to Facebook. The amount of Likes per post went up 10%, and net fans per page increased 49%.

Facebook said the current test of the Stories to Share feature is limited to media organizations and publishers to start, but indicated it could eventually be rolled out more widely to improve interaction for brand pages on the social network.

 

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