After years of claiming that it would steer clear of pre-roll ads in favor of its preferred mid-roll Ad Break format, Facebook announced today that it will begin to test six-second ads that play before videos within its Watch hub.
While pre-roll ads don't work well in News Feed, we think they will work well in Watch because it's a place where people visit and come back to with the intention to watch videos. The ad revenue that comes with more video content, and incentivising publishers to create videos that keep users bringing in the views - all while keeping tabs on users every move. It has a dedicated button on the bottom of the mobile app, and a link on the side of the website. They will also see new episodes of a show if they have watched an earlier episode. But it's more of a burgeoning YouTube than the next Netflix.
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Facebook said on Thursday that it would be tweaking its algorithms to feature some videos more prominently in its News Feed, as it attempts to compete more directly with other video streaming platforms. The content is mostly short and low budget. The company said in the blog post that it would no longer includes ads in the middle of videos that are under three minutes.
Starting in January, they won't be included in any videos shorter than 3 minutes, and the first ad won't pop up until at least a minute into whatever riveting content you're consuming. "Facebook is not. So you can make the argument that they're trying to increase total time spent", Wieser said in an interview.
Videos that are part of a series or from creators churning out regular content will now get preferential placement in the news feed.