Facebook Summer Video Ads Command Seven Figure Pricetag
April 17, 2013

Facebook Summer Video Ads Command Seven Figure Pricetag

Peter Suciu for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online

It has often been said that a picture is worth a thousand words, but soon a video could be worth a million bucks. At least that is what social media giant Facebook could look to get for its upcoming video ads, which launch this summer.

Trade magazine Ad Age reported on Wednesday that the social network would offer video ads that would be no longer than 15 seconds, and would be scheduled so that no Facebook user sees more than three of such ads per day.

According to online reports Facebook has been making the rounds with ad agencies to gauge interest in video ads and is already looking to sign up advertisers for the first open slots beginning in June or July.

How, where and when exactly the ads appear hasn´t been completely finalized. Reports suggest that the ads will be in a dedicated video player and will launch automatically through an auto-play feature. Facebook has worked to develop an ad module that wouldn´t annoy users too much, but the question could be asked whether there is truly a way of presenting ads — that can´t be skipped or minimized according to some reports — without being at least slightly annoying.

The social media giant already has video ads on the sidebar and in the news feed but these don´t utilize an auto-play and don´t expand into the outer columns. With the new ads, Facebook appears to be looking for great exposure and hence a larger payout for those ads.

Facebook is now looking to sell four daily summer “slots,” which each target a relatively large demographic. These include women over 30, women under 30, men over 30 and men under 30. Should Facebook secure four ads per day it would have a $4 million a day revenue stream, something that could certainly please investors. The question is whether there is  really a market for advertisers, even with Facebook´s massive reach.

“Aside from a YouTube front page or a Yahoo front page -- which certainly isn't what it used to be -- this could be the answer,” an unnamed ad exec told Ad Age this week.

Ad Age also reported that Facebook is looking to integrate video ads with its mobile apps, but at present it is unclear how that will be resolved.

Facebook's ad focus isn´t just limited to video either.

Tech Crunch reported the social network is testing its first Graph Search ads, but these aren´t apparently targeted to user queries. Facebook announced the new Graph Search service back in January, as a way to allow users to search information already shared with them.

These new ads, which could eventually be built around demand-fulfillment search, now uses standard Facebook targeting and re-targeting, and resemble sidebar ads but appear at the bottom of the page. These only appear if there is more than one page of results.

Clearly Facebook is taking a very hard look at ways of integrating advertising into its network, but many questions remain. If AMC´s ad-agency drama Mad Men were set in the modern era we could almost see these topics being debated.