Facebook to Expand Ad Video Metrics

Brands can learn who is watching and for how long

Brands will be getting more insight into how many times their ads are viewed on Facebook, the social network announced on Monday. 


"People are spending more and more time watching videos online each month and online video advertising is also rising," a spokesperson for the Palo Alto, Calif. company told Adweek. "Overall, the new metrics are designed to help advertisers learn what's resonating with people and determine how to more effectively create and promote their videos on Facebook."

Previously, brands could only see how many people started to watch their videos. Now, they'll be able to see exact video views, unique video views, duration of video views and audience retention. The additional video metrics will be unveiled in a few weeks. It will be available for all paid and organic videos that are uploaded to Facebook pages.

The stats should be especially interesting, given the fact that Facebook now allows for autoplay video ads. The featured spots, which rolled out in late April, start to play when the user scrolls over it. Audio kicks in if the user clicks on the ad. Instagram will follow in its footsteps, and plans to unveil video ads in the near future.

When rumors of the "premium" video offering on Facebook began to swirl in November 2013, marketers admitted they were a bit wary. At that time, CFO David Ebersman told analysts that the social media website had topped out at the number of ads it would serve its users at about one out of 20 posts. Some brands worried that people may experience ad fatigue, especially with autoplay video clogging up News Feeds.

Facebook seems to be attempting to calm those worried by allowing companies to see how well their ads are doing. Marketers will be able to see the average percentage completion rate of their videos, as well as be able to sort through completion rates at various benchmarks. They’ll also be able to look at how specific age, gender and country demographics viewed their videos.

The social media company added that they didn’t work with any other companies to develop the new metrics, but they did adopt comScore’s definition for a video view. It will only count video views that are seen for more than three seconds, and simple impressions will not count. The measurements go beyond the Media Ratings Councils (MRC) new viewability standards, which state that a video ad must view viewed for at least two seconds.