National Jeweler Network

Online Retailing

Facebook could be rolling out video ads soon

December 18, 2013

New York--Facebook announced Tuesday that it will begin testing videos for advertisers this week for select users of the social media network.

The company has partnered with Summit Entertainment to show videos of the latter’s upcoming film Divergent on the news feeds of a small number of users on both mobile and desktop platforms.

The videos ads for marketers have been given a number of new features that Facebook has recently been testing.

Videos will begin to play, without sound, as soon as users come across it on their news feed. Users who don’t wish to view the video can simply scroll or swipe past. If the video is tapped or clicked, it will play in full screen with sound. At the end of the video, a carousel will appear with two additional videos, allowing users to discover more videos from the same marketers.

Facebook didn’t give any indication in its announcement when advertisers would be able to begin showing videos on the site. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company didn’t respond to a request for information by press time.

The company initially began developing new ways to make videos featured on the social media site more engaging in September.

The changes were limited to videos posted by individuals and verified pages.

Facebook said in a release that due to the changes, the company saw views, likes, shares and comments increase by more than 10 percent.

Video ads have been gaining in popularity over the past few years, especially as viewers head online for content that used to be available through only cable or broadcast television. According to comScore, Americans viewed more than 24.5 billion video ads in the month of October alone.

Additionally, an October 2013 survey from Adap.tv and Digiday that polled digital and marketing professionals found that online advertising budgets were most often coming at the expense of TV broadcast budgets.

In North America, nearly 31 percent of those surveyed said they would pull money away from broadcast TV and put it toward online video, while another 30 percent would take away from display advertising.

Ad spend on web videos is expected to total $4.15 billion in 2013, a 23 percent increase over last year, according to market research company eMarketer.