Facebook is adding video advertisements to users’ new feeds, Facebook’s official blog revealed on Thursday. Facebook will test out video advertisements from select marketers only. Video advertisements will run for 15 seconds; ads will start automatically, although they will be muted. Users will begin seeing the videos in April and May, ReadWrite.com adds.
The motion, according to Reuters, aims “to grab a slice of lucrative TV-marketing budgets as they try to sustain rapid growth.” Although the move is likely to earn significant revenue, it is also one that CEO Mark Zuckerberg previously avoided. “Facebook has moved cautiously to avoid annoying users. Social media players like Twitter are typically careful not to clutter up their users’ pages with unwanted material,” Reuters reports. Facebook plans to take several precautions to avoid inconveniencing users. “Video ads that appear on mobile devices are downloaded in advance when the device is connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi so as not to use up mobile data,” ReadWrite.com says.
Facebook was not upfront about which advertisers it will feature. The official blog did reveal, however, that prices will be based on Nielsen ratings. Advertisers will also have the option of targeting specific demographics (such as sex and age); companies will be able to choose specific times for video advertisements to run as well.
The Facebook team reserves the right to screen all advertisements for “watchability, meaningfulness, and emotional resonance,” Reuters explains. Facebook will pair up with analytics firm Ace Metrix to make these determinations. “We’re taking this step in order to maintain high-quality ads on Facebook and to help advertisers understand what’s working to maximize their return on investment,” Facebook says of its screening process.
In other words, Facebook is taking quality considerations very seriously — and marketers will likely pay for it, too. CNET speculates that the 15-second advertisements may cost up to $1 million to $2.5 million per day.
“The pricing structure seems to be high at this time, and may not to be in favor of small and medium sized business budgets for a great ROI,” says Greg Melancon, Marketing Manager at Web Marketing Solutions. “I’m sure that most businesses will watch the market and see if the pricing becomes a little more affordable before embracing it.”