In August, Facebook became the latest big name to jump into the original video content category with its new Watch tab. Content, which is produced for Facebook by partners, earns Facebook 45% of ad break revenue (partners get to keep the additional 55%). It’s a move designed to keep more eyeballs on Facebook for longer, which is to say more data—and opportunities—to sell to advertisers. We asked Jr. Account Coordinator Jesse Eiskina to share her rundown of the new feature and what marketers should expect.
If you haven’t noticed yet, Facebook recently debuted a new video feature called Facebook Watch. The newest addition to the Facebook family features exclusive video content that is funded solely by Facebook and its partners.
These partners, such as National Geographic, Animal Planet, and TLC, are producing various shows that are made up of multiple episodes. But here is the catch – each of these episodes is broken up by ad breaks. So, essentially you have to watch Facebook’s version of commercials in the middle of your episodes. The whole thought process behind the roll-out of this platform is to boost overall ad revenue for the site, as well as encourage users to frequent the site more to view content they can’t see anywhere else.
Watch is organized in a way for users to find videos that are tailored to their specific tastes. The Watch tab offers categories like “Most Talked About,” “Todays Spotlight,” “In Case You Missed It” and “What Friends Are Watching.” Currently, my Facebook friends are watching videos titled “Funny Doggos” and “Raccoon Grows Up Thinking She’s a Dog” – I knew there was a reason I liked my friends so much!
Along with the various video categories you can browse through, you also have a Watchlist where you can find the latest episodes of shows you follow or watch any saved episodes you have in your queue – sounds like Facebook created its own variation of DVR.
So, what does all of this mean for marketers and advertisers? Well, I think there is a lot more to come for this platform, as well as some obstacles to overcome before any predictions can be made. So far, there is the debate over whether or not viewers are going to be accepting of having ads interrupting them in the middle of their episodes. It seems Facebook believes that pre-roll ads are more of a disruption to the overall viewing experience than mid-roll ads. I think only time (and testing) will tell. Either way, I am excited to sit back and watch Facebook blaze a new path in the way we experience and market online videos.