Look out, mobile Facebook users, video advertisements are coming your way.
The situation: Within the next several months, Facebook says it will roll out 15-second video ads on mobile sites. Just like videos shared by friends or sponsored pages on your news feed, these premium ads will play automatically without sound and stop if you scroll past. However, if you tap on them, the screen expands and you can watch the full commercial with sound. (Here’s what they’ll look like.)
The price tag: If you’re a business owner thinking about possibly promoting your company through these video ads, get ready to dig deep into those pockets. Way deep. Facebook says the average price for premium video ads is anywhere from $1 million to $2.5 million per day.
The result: While this sounds like an enticing way for profitable businesses to gain more exposure, there is a fear that the videos will be a turn-off to mobile internet users and cause backlash instead of a positive experience. However, many analysts don’t think so. In fact, they believe it will be great for Facebook’s stock.
Analyst Victor Anthony told MarketWatch he believes Facebook’s delay in video ads has been very strategic.
“Rollout was/is slow because Facebook wants to ensure that the user experience will not be disrupted,” Anthony said. “With this launch they are communicating that they now feel comfortable that the user experience will not be compromised.”
And, Facebook is planning on taking only the highest quality advertisements for its premium video ad program.
“To make sure Premium Video Ads are as good as other content people see in their News Feeds, we’re working with a company called Ace Metrix to help us review and assess how engaging the creative is for each ad — before it appears on Facebook,” said Facebook. “Ace Metrix will allow us to objectively measure the creative quality of the video in the Facebook environment, and highlight performance indicators for advertisers such as watchability, meaningfulness and emotional resonance. We’re taking this step in order to maintain high-quality ads on Facebook and help advertisers understand what’s working to maximize their return on investment.”
Here’s what we think: First of all, video advertising is not a new venture. Google’s been on the video ad train since 2006. Online viewers have watched promotional ads before streaming videos on YouTube and Hulu for years. However, what is new is the notion of video advertising through a widely-used social network like Facebook.
The fact is online video advertisements work. A 2010 Nielson study shows viewers had much greater brand and message recall and greater likability for online video ads as opposed to their traditional television counterparts. Of course, the more interactive these video ads are, the better click-through and conversion rates for the represented company.
Katie Parr, Social Media Specialist here at tCloud Solutions, says she doesn’t believe these video ads will annoy Facebook users in the long run.
“I think at the beginning users won’t necessarily care for them, but they’ll adjust to the changes very quickly, just like they do for layout changes and other Facebook fixes,” she said. “As long as Facebook keeps the video ads to a minimum, which they are already planning on doing, I don’t think it’d be a problem at all.”
What do you think? We want to know. Leave your thoughts in the comments below. (Yes, that rhymed. We like to pretend we’re poets once in a while.)