Here They Come: Facebook Announces Premium Video Ads From ‘Select Group Of Advertisers’

By David Cohen 

PremiumVideoAdsAnnouncement650Facebook video ads have finally arrived, at least for a “select group of advertisers,” as the social network announced the launch of what it is calling premium video ads and what it began testing last December.

The 15-second ads will begin playing on users’ News Feeds without audio, and they will stop playing if users scroll past them. Users who are interested in viewing the video ads can tap them, after which a full-screen version, with sound, will begin playing.

Facebook said in announcing the test last December that for mobile users, video ads are pre-downloaded when their devices are connected via Wi-Fi, so they do not consume additional data, and users on data plans will not see their usage rise.

On the advertiser said, the social network said premium video ads are purchased based on targeted gross rating points, aimed at reaching specific audiences in short time periods, much like the way television ads are sold, and delivery will be measured by third-party Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings.

The complete announcement from Facebook follows:

In December, we started testing premium video ads as a way for advertisers to drive branding objectives on Facebook. Starting today, we’re introducing these ads on Facebook with a select group of advertisers.

Premium video ads are designed for advertisers who want to reach a large audience with high-quality sight, sound, and motion. Each 15-second video ad will start playing without sound as it appears on screen and stop if people scroll past. If people tap the video, it will expand into a full-screen view and sound will start. People can expect to begin seeing these new ads over the next few months.

Premium video ads are bought and measured in a way that’s similar to how advertisers already buy and measure ads on TV. The ads are bought based on targeted gross rating points to reach a specific audience over a short period of time. Delivery is measured by an independent third party, Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings, and advertisers only pay based on what Nielsen OCR measures.

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. 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 returns on investment.

With premium video ads, brands now have another way of engaging people on Facebook with compelling video experiences. We’ll roll out premium video ads slowly and monitor how people interact with them. This limited introduction allows us to concentrate our efforts on a smaller number of advertisers with high-quality campaigns to create the best possible experience on Facebook.

Readers: What was your reaction to Facebook’s announcement on premium video ads?