×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Facebook Officially Announces Pre-Roll Ad Tests, Tweaks Mid-Rolls

It’s official: Facebook is going to start testing pre-roll advertising for some of its video inventory in 2018. The company also announced Thursday that it is tweaking its mid-roll ads, and adjusting its newsfeed algorithm to surface more relevant video clips.

Reports about these impending tests first surfaced earlier this month.

Pre-roll ads will be limited to places “where people proactively seek out content,” according to a blog post published Thursday. This means that they won’t show up in people’s Facebook newsfeeds. Instead, Facebook will test them on its new Watch tab, with the logic being that people are more tolerant of the feature if they seek out a video, as opposed to stumble across it in their feed.

The company will also put a strict time limit on pre-roll ads: “We’ll start with 6-second pre-roll with the goal of understanding what works best for different types of shows across a range of audiences,” it said Thursday. That’s different from YouTube, where pre-rolls can in theory be many minutes long, but users often have a chance to skip those ads.

Facebook also announced Thursday that it will tweak its existing mid-roll ad tests. Going forward, the company won’t be allowing mid-roll ad breaks for videos shorter than three minutes, and the ads won’t show up until after the first minute of the video has been watched. Previously, videos as short as 90 seconds were eligible for ad breaks.

Also new: Facebook is tweaking its newsfeed algorithm to give serialized content a boost. If you’ve watched a few episodes of a show in the past, you are more likely to see the next episode show up in your newsfeed. Similar teaks are coming to the discover section of the Watch tab — Facebook is clearly trying to give publishers who regularly produce content for Watch a boost, and show that you don’t need a viral it to succeed with video on Facebook.

That being said, the company committed to not derank viral videos: “Engaging one-off videos that bring friends and communities together have always done well in News Feed and will continue to do so,” it promised in its blog post Thursday.

 

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Disney Kevin Mayer Recode Media

    Disney Streaming Boss Kevin Mayer: App Architecture to Blame for Disney Plus Stumbles

    No, it wasn’t Amazon’s fault that Disney Plus struggled following its launch last week: Disney direct-to-consumer chairman Kevin Mayer told the audience of Recode’s Code Media conference in Los Angeles Tuesday that there really wasn’t anyone to blame but Disney’s own technology. “It had we to do with the way we architected the app,” Mayer [...]

  • Disney-Plus-Logo

    Disney Plus Customer Service Still Experiencing 'High Volume' of Help Inquiries

    Disney Plus got off to a rocky start with widespread technical problems for the streaming service on launch day — and a week later, the company says it’s still seeing a high level of incoming calls from users who are having problems. Disney announced one day after the launch that more than 10 million people [...]

  • The Game Awards

    The Game Awards 2019 Nominees: 'Death Stranding,' 'Control' Lead the Field (Full List)

    The Game Awards 2019 unveiled nominations for this year’s event, led by Hideo Kojima’s epic “Death Stranding” with nine nods and Remedy/505 Games’ “Control” with eight nominations. This year’s Game of the Year nominees, in addition to “Control” and “Death Stranding,” are “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate,” “Resident Evil 2,” “Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice” and “The [...]

  • Roger Lynch Code Media

    Conde Nast CEO Roger Lynch: 'The Jury Is Out' on Apple News Plus

    Conde Nast CEO Roger Lynch told the audience of Recode’s Code Media conference that he hadn’t made up his mind yet about Apple’s news subscription service. “I think the jury is out,” Lynch said, adding that he had inherited Conde Nast’s deal with Apple from his predecessor. “I hope Apple News Plus is wildly successful,” [...]

  • Diego Winburn - Telemundo Snapchat

    Telemundo Launches First Snapchat Show, 'Diego Street Magic'

    NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises, looking to tap into Snapchat’s youth-skewing user base, launched its first exclusive show on Snapchat. Telemundo’s 10-episode “Diego Street Magic” features Mexican-American magician Diego Winburn performing magic tricks and illusions on the streets of New York City. After premiering Nov. 19, new episodes will be available Tuesdays and Thursdays through mid-December on [...]

  • Disney Plus user interface home screen

    Disney Plus Is Not Hampering Netflix Yet, Analysts Say -- But It's Only Been a Week

    One week after the launch of Disney Plus, Wall Street analysts are scouring tea leaves for signs of how the Mouse House’s streaming service is faring — and whether it’s taken a bite out of Netflix. Disney Plus’ launch in the first week had “little to no impact” on Netflix usage trends, which is “reassuring [...]

  • Ross Levinsohn

    Maven Media Bosses Stumble Explaining Their Plans for Sports Illustrated

    Ross Levinsohn’s reintroduction into the spotlight of the media world was off to a rocky start. Appearing at Recode’s Code Media conference Monday afternoon alongside his business partner James Heckman, Levinsohn was given a chance to address the elephant in the room right out of the gate, with journalist Peter Kafka bringing up allegations of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content