Facebook on Thursday announced several major changes to its video services and the manner in which they are monetized, having revealed that it's tweaking ad breaks and bringing pre-roll ads to some of its offerings starting early next year. Additionally, the company debuted a number of optimizations for content creators that are meant to help them distribute their videos and draw in a larger audience while simultaneously assisting users in discovering content they care about.
As of next month, ad breaks in videos will only be allowed in clips that are no shorter than three minutes, with Facebook doubling its previous minimum length requirement. Additionally, the first ad break will only be able to run no earlier than a minute into the video instead of already being eligible for showing after 20 seconds. The Menlo Park, California-based social media giant said the change was prompted by its internal research which suggested users were generally more satisfied with longer content that doesn't present them with ads so soon after being launched. Ad breaks recently received their dedicated insights section in Facebook's platform for publishers, with the company devising it to help content creators better understand how effective this monetization method is when combined with their content. Also starting early next year, Facebook will bring pre-roll ads to videos hosted by its Watch service in an experimental capacity. News Feed videos aren't expected to receive the same treatment anytime soon as the company's internal research suggests such ads aren't as effective in the platform's main feed but people are more likely to tolerate them when accessing Watch that they visit solely because they're interested in viewing video content they care about.
The Watch platform will debut pre-roll ads with six-second promotions, after which the functionality is likely to be tweaked, depending on the user data gathered by Facebook. The company is also placing a larger focus on branded content going forward and is updating its News Feed algorithms to prioritize content from publishers with a good track record in regards to user engagement. Cross-posting content through different pages should also be easier for creators who have both their own Facebook pages and pages dedicated to their programming.