Facebook announced today that it will offer marketers the ability to buy video advertisements to run in users’ News Feeds. Facebook, which has been testing “Premium Video Ads” since December, said it will be limiting the program to a small group of advertisers and will be rolling it out slowly in the next several months.
The video spots will be 15 seconds long and play automatically (and soundlessly) when Facebook users scroll through their News Feeds. If you click on the ad, it will open and the sound will play. Facebook has been displaying video this way since last fall.
It’s a natural step for a company that has been trying to add more ways to serve ads. Facebook said it has set up Premium Video Ads to be bought and measured similarly to how advertisers already buy and measure TV ads.
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 (OCR), and advertisers only pay based on what Nielsen OCR measures.
Facebook also said that it doesn’t want to flood user news feeds with annoying, schlocky ads, so it will be working with a company called Ace Metrix 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.”