Facebook gives creators new ways to monetize videos, while pushing more users to Watch
The moves signal the site’s growing ambition to compete more directly with video platforms like YouTube, Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Video.
Facebook is taking more steps to help video creators and publishers monetize content, while simultaneously aiming to drive a bigger audience to Watch, the site’s video hub with original content programming.
In its latest announcement around video, Facebook is launching new “preview” trailers for Watch programming that will run within the News Feed. The previews will give the viewer a “quick ad” of the show, before sending them to Watch, where they can view the full episode. Facebook says its content partners will be able to boost the Preview Trailers, targeting specific audiences and “driving more predictable tune-in” for shows.
For video creators across the site, Facebook is moving its pre-roll video ads beyond Watch, now including pre-roll ads in search results and timelines for Pages. Facebook says it’s expanding the pre-roll ad test to places on the site where users are seeking out videos: “For example, if a person searches for a show a pre-roll may play when they select the episode to watch.”
Initially, Facebook’s pre-roll video began as a test last year on Watch, but now, it will be showing up in other areas of the site as well.
In addition to the preview trailers and pre-roll ad news, Facebook says it has also introduced a feature that automatically determines the ideal place for an ad break within an eligible video for its mid-roll ads.
Along with the video ad updates, Facebook is launching a “Pre-Publish Brand Safety” feature that lets creators submit videos before they publish them to determine if they are eligible for monetization. It also offered a quick overview of how it was tightening guidelines around video monetization eligibility standards.
“Content partners with paid arrangements for Pages to methodically and inorganically share videos can no longer monetize views originating on the third party Pages,” write Facebook’s VP of media partnerships, Nick Grudin, and its product management director, Maria Angelidou-Smith. According to Grudin and Angelidou-Smith, such practices optimize distribution over quality. Facebook is also pulling ads from video formats that offer poor video experiences, such as videos that only include static images, minimal movement or content that just loops.
Enforcement of these new guidelines will be rolled out in phases, giving creators time to adapt, says Grudin and Angelidou-Smith. They also announced Facebook will begin taking notice of Pages that primarily share videos of re-purposed clips from other sources with limited editorialization as they fail to “foster engaged, loyal communities” — a practice that goes against Facebook’s content guidelines.
“While we will not be taking immediate enforcement action on this issue, we want to signal to content producers that this is a programming style we will more deeply evaluate over the coming weeks and months to assess what level of distribution and monetization matches the value created for people,” write Grudin and Angelidou-Smith.
All of Facebook’s recent moves in video signal the site’s growing ambition to become a bigger competitor on the video platform stage. The company’s video efforts prove it is aiming to be much more than a broadcasting tool for users. By polishing up its video monetization offerings for creators and driving more of its users toward the original programming being featured on Watch, Facebook is showing its aspirations of competing with the likes of YouTube, Netflix or Hulu.