Rather than just cramming more ads onto the site, an act known as “ad load”, Facebook has decided to focus on perfecting the art of advertising through video. They believe that the more viewers want to watch videos on Facebook, the more willing they will be to sit through an ad. Since the increase of videos, users have been proven to spend more time on the site.
Facebook has been working to sell space to marketers by creating many different options in selling video advertising spots. First of all, advertisers are able to purchase through “sound-on” buying, meaning they have the option to only pay when the video plays sound. Facebook videos typically show up on mute and automatically plays, but if the advertiser chooses, they are only charged if the viewer plays sound. A large part of this stems from the pressure from Snapchat, where advertisements have volume on 70% of the time. Another option for advertisers is “completed-view” buying, meaning the advertiser only pays when the viewer gets to the end of the video. Many advertisers choose this because they do not think an ad makes a completely valuable impression unless watched fully. Facebook also plans to show marketers how long people watched down to the millisecond in addition to how many people watched.
Facebook will also display the number of milliseconds where half of the ad was on the screen as well as the amount of time the whole ad was on the screen in two different categories to provide more accurate data. In addition to the other buying options, there is also “two-second” buying, which means 50% of an ad’s pixels are in view for two continuous seconds or longer.
Facebook videos are also able to target specific demographics better than other sites, and is continuing to improve. A huge amount of growth was shown in 2015, when the amount of video in the news feed increased by 3.6 times—and more than half of daily U.S. visitors watch at least one video per day according to the company. Overall, Facebook is trying to improve video targeting to ensure that the right users see the right ads.