Facebook may start cashing in on all those cat videos you view on their website. Apart from knowing about your offline habits to better improve the ads you see, Facebook seeks to start off the new year by testing a new mid-roll ad format, which allows publishers to insert ads in the middle of the videos you watch.
While taking a break from one of the most popular social networking websites is healthy, you cannot deny that billions of people spend a lot of their time viewing content on Facebook — videos included.
The 20-Second Mark
To be clear, this does not mean that all videos on Facebook will include ads, though.
According to a report by Recode, video publishers will be given the chance to include ads once people have viewed their content for at least 20 seconds. This gives the publishers more incentive to create longer videos, which can increase their chances of making more money.
Why Put Ads In Videos?
For the past few years, videos on Facebook have steadily increased in number, and because of the wide popularity of the medium, companies find it advantageous to simply put their content on the site and link them to their own external websites. These websites will then utilize ads that net the companies their online revenue.
But sometimes, viewers would much rather view the content on Facebook. Since most of the content is already there, there seems to be no point in clicking to another website to view the exact same thing. This makes things difficult for the publishers of the videos since they don't make any money for all their hard work.
Facebook understands this and sees mid-roll ads as a way to reward video creators and to incite more people to post their video content on their website.
"What we've heard from them (news organizations and publishing partners) over the last few years ... is that they would really like a way to make money on Facebook directly," says Dan Rose, Facebook's vice president of partnerships, as cited by Poynter. "That feedback has inspired us to think hard about how we can enable that type of monetization on Facebook directly."'
How Much Will Video Publishers Earn?
Similar to YouTube, Facebook seeks to monetize videos and give publishers 55 percent of all sales from the ads they sell. If this model works out, video publishers will finally have a method to gain actual revenue by posting their content on the social media website.