Facebook is building a video empire but many publishers have been wondering how exactly they’re going to monetize their product, putting the world’s largest social network at a disadvantage relative to Google’s YouTube. According to Variety, Facebook is moving to even up the playing field with a new advertising offering as part of “suggested videos,” in the form of ads that appear in a gallery of video content.
The new ad offering, still in the test phase for iPhone users, inserts in-line ads between clips in Facebook’s suggested videos feature, enabling Facebook users to tap on a link from their Newsfeed to access the relevant video ads. Facebook has already lined up official content partners for the service including the NBA, Hearst, Fox Sports, and Funny or Die, among others.
According to Variety, Facebook will offer a revenue share based on time spent viewing, taking 45% and handing over 55% for publishing partners. Variety also reports that Newsfeed advertising partners can’t actually buy direct ad placements, suggesting Facebook is once again opting for a conservative roll-out as it tests user response; for the time-being the impressions will be delivered as a bonus for Newsfeed advertisers who have already bought in.
Previous reports state that the number of video views on Facebook increased from one billion per day in the third quarter of 2014 to four billion per day in the first quarter of 2015, with 75% of this viewing taking place on mobile.
Meanwhile Facebook recently introduced new features that allow advertisers to optimize their best-performing ads. It also announced a new partnership with IBM, integrating Facebook ad targeting capabilities, including Custom Audiences, with IBM Commerce’s offerings for marketing cloud clients, including IBM’s Journey Designer and Journey Analytics.