It’s never long before a new platform or feature introduces advertising content to help build their revenue, so it’s no surprise that Facebook  is expanding their video platform by introducing adverts that will play mid-roll.

Advertisers will be able to insert clips into videos after people have reached 20 seconds of viewing. While a well targeted advert can be very useful to both the viewer and the advertiser, we would worry that inserting this advert mid-roll rather than before the video plays could be an annoying interruption for viewers.

The video clips have to be 90 seconds long to feature an advert and the adverts can only be up to 15 seconds in length. So in a video of a minute and a half, you might find yourself watching a 15 second advert interval after 20 seconds of viewing. Hopefully this won’t deter people from watching the remainder of the video.

Facebook counts a video as ‘viewed’ after 3 seconds, backing up their research that finds 47% of value from a video campaign to be delivered in the first 3 seconds. By placing the advertisements mid-roll rather than at the beginning or end, Facebook is attempting to incentivise publishers to hold people’s attention for longer than the usual 3 seconds. This incentive lies not only in the hopes of more views, likes, shares and comments, but also in Facebook’spromise of 55% of ad sales revenue being returned to them.

Facebook has rightfully said in the past that pre-roll ads wouldn’t work on their platform which we can totally agree with. People wouldn’t stay on their newsfeed and wait for 15 seconds of advertising to pass by for every 3 seconds of video content they want to watch. So, mid-roll adverts might just be a great solution for Facebook.

Instagram taking follow

Shortly after Facebook’s video advertising announcement, Instagram said that they are also looking to provide mid-roll advertising on videos of 90 seconds or more and on people’s Stories. Unlike Facebook’s mid-roll advertising, the new Instagram Story adverts would reflect those on Snapchat by playing in-between Story posts. 

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