Facebook is testing out a brand new feature that will allow content publishers to generate greater revenue. The company is testing a scheme wherein, instead of running ads before or after publishers’s content, it will run them in the middle of the video.
The scheme will see Facebook split the revenue it generates from the advertisers in a 45-55 ratio, with publishers getting the lion’s share. According to Recode, the ads will be displayed after the actual content has run for at least 20 seconds.
Up until now, publishers hadn’t been making much money with publishing content on Facebook. Why? Because the company’s advertising schemes were markedly different from how other in the field — YouTube for instance — operate. The company did not allow advertisements in the beginning of the video, likely with the reasoning that many users don’t bother to watch a video and simply move ahead when they are forced to watch advertisements before the video even starts.
However, that meant that many publishers, who were spending significant resources so as to produce these videos, were unable to generate much revenue — despite the fact that users were spending almost 100 million hours watching video content on the platform by 2016.
Meanwhile, the new move could have several, significant benefits.
First and foremost, publishers will be able to generate more revenue through the scheme. That is going to be the most obvious impact once Facebook rolls this feature out and could lead to publishers spending more time and resources in coming up with more good content for the platform.
Next, it could also lead to a change in the controversial way in which Facebook keeps track of video views. At present, Facebook counts a view every time a video is watched for more than 3 seconds. However, this method has been criticized by many considering that the videos on the news feed auto play. With advertisements coming in at least after 20 seconds of the video have passed, Facebook could well change how it counts video views.
Next, this could also prove to have positive effects with regards to the fake news proliferating the platform. Considering that a user will only be likely to watch a story for 20 seconds or more if it genuinely interested him and wasn’t something created just to grab user attention with a viral sounding title, the move could also prompt publishers to focus upon putting in more effort in their content rather than just creating stuff with the intent of making it viral.
For the end user, it could mean more and better content at the cost of having to put up with advertisements right in the middle of the video. And I am betting at least some of these ads would be placed at nail-biter, cliffhanger moments too!