Facebook is edging (or barging) into all kinds of new areas of industry and commerce: from social media it has expanded to sectors as diverse as broadcast video, virtual reality, aerospace – and now advertising sales representation.
This week the social media titan revealed that it will begin selling video ads on Web sites outside its network, including “in-stream” and “in-article” placements on media sites and apps like the USA Today Sports Media Group, Daily Mail, and Mashable, according to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news. Facebook will share ad revenues with partner sites, although it’s not clear what the split will be (Facebook generally takes around 30% of revenues for ads on its Audience Network).
The move represents a big expansion of Facebook’s existing off-site partnerships, including the Audience Network. To sweeten the deal, Facebook is also offering cross-site ads with placement next to content appearing on its own Instant Articles platform, wooing publishers and advertisers with additional scale and convenience.
No surprise, the video ad sales service puts Facebook in even closer competition with Google, as the rival tech companies zero in on video ads as one of the most lucrative and fast-growing area of Internet media.
Google has long enjoyed the advantage of sheer size due to its ownership of YouTube, but over the last two years Facebook has become a huge purveyor of online video, and in recent months the social giant has been adding new video products and services for advertisers at a frenetic pace.
Last month Facebook announced new partners for ad viewability verification including Integral Ad Science, which will support measurement across Facebook's display, video, mobile in-app and Web inventory. Nielsen and comScore were also named partners on ad viewability and attention metrics for photo and video ads on Facebook.
Also last month, Facebook launched a dedicated search engine for video streams, which allows Facebook members to search features for the videos that other members share instantly by typing a few keywords into the search bar at the top of the screen.