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Facebook Sets Pre-Roll Ad Expansion, Details More Kinds of Videos That Aren’t Eligible for Monetization

Facebook says it’s expanding pre-roll video ads to more areas of the platform — and it’s also clarifying its monetization policies to spell out additional kinds of videos aren’t eligible for ads.

The company said Friday that after testing pre-roll ads for shows in Facebook Watch, it will be expanding the test to places where people seek out videos, like in search results or on a Facebook Page timeline.

Facebook also announced that it will test a show “preview” trailer ad format, aimed at helping users discover episodes in their News Feed. With that format, when a viewer taps on the trailer, a short ad will play before it presents the full episode in Facebook Watch.

As it widens the available of video ads, however, Facebook also wants to be clear that it’s going to exclude certain low-quality videos or publishers who engage in “sharing and distribution schemes” will not be eligible for ads.

Those are in addition to previous ad-eligibility guidelines it released last fall, under which Facebook won’t run ads with certain kinds of content including videos that have sexual themes; depict violent or illegal activity; contain “inappropriate language”; or misappropriate children’s characters.

“We are focused on growing payouts for creators and publishers who develop engaged and loyal audiences and are working on growing payouts for partners who develop loyal, engaged viewing,” Facebook’s VP of media partnerships Nick Grudin and product management director Maria Angelidou-Smith wrote in a blog post.

As part of “removing incentives from content that creates less value for people,” Facebook has updated its Monetization Eligibility Standards and Content Guidelines for Monetization. The enforcement of the new policies will be rolled out in phases “so content partners can adapt,” the Facebook execs said, but warned that repeated violations would result in offenders getting demonentized.

Facebook recently introduced a new “pre-publish brand safety check” tool for content partners, to verify that their videos are eligible for monetization prior to posting.

Specifically, Facebook outlined three new areas in its policy that will make videos ineligible for advertising:

  • Manufactured sharing and distribution schemes: Content partners with paid arrangements for Facebook Pages to “methodically and inorganically” share videos can no longer monetize views originating on the third-party Pages.
  • Formats unsuitable for an ad: Videos that aren’t actually video — like static images, videos with minimal movement, or content that just loops — are “not the type of content advertisers want to run ads in,” the Facebook execs wrote.
  • Limited editorialization of content: Facebook Pages that primarily distribute videos of repurposed clips from other sources — with limited value-added editorial — will not be eligible for ads. “While we will not be taking immediate enforcement action on this issue, we want to signal to content producers that this is a programming style we will more deeply evaluate over the coming weeks and months to assess what level of distribution and monetization matches the value created for people,” Grudin and Angelidou-Smith wrote.

The social platform also noted that it recently introduced a feature that automatically detects optimal placement for ad breaks within eligible videos.

Also in the blog post, Facebook provided tips on best practices for how to build an engaged and loyal audience on Watch. Those include creating an “active experience” to draw Facebook viewers into the show (it cited brain-teaser show “Riddle Me This” and ESPN’s “First Take: Your Take,” which launched in January); developing a consistent voice and format (citing Crypt TV’s Crypt MonstersDiscovery Twins, and Everything Explained); and setting a regular release schedule (e.g., Tia Mowry’s “Quick Fix,” which posts each Friday).

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