Facebook will soon start showing ads in the middle of its videos and start making money for the people who supply it with those videos. According to Recode, the social networking giant is testing a new “mid-roll” ad format, which will give video publishers the chance to insert ads into their clips after people have watched them for at least 20 seconds.
The company plans to sell the ads and share the revenue with publishers, giving them 55% share, similar to what is offered by YouTube. Although it may prove annoying for viewers, it could represent the first chance many video publishers have had to make real money from the stuff they’ve been running on Facebook. The source adds that the new Facebook ads can only run once a viewer has watched a clip for at least 20 seconds, and they can also only appear in videos that run for at least 90 seconds.
The plan Facebook is trying now could have the biggest impact, since it includes all kinds of videos throughout the network — most crucially in the News Feed, its primary distribution mechanism. A Facebook rep declined to comment. But last fall, Facebook VP Dan Rose, who runs the company’s content operations, told Poynter that he expected to talk about expanding the mid-roll ads it was trying in live videos to more video formats “early next year.”
The parameters of the new ads also suggest that Facebook is placing more importance on the time people spend watching videos, rather than the total number of videos they watch.
Looks like Facebook video publishers will need to make clips that go on for a while and keep users’ attention in order to make some money.