Facebook to Test Video Ads in Live Content

We all knew that Facebook Live was bound to feature ads eventually. Ad revenue is how most social media companies earn their money and Facebook is no exception. But I think what we all expected was for the videos to be completely ad free for just a little while longer. Unfortunately, that's not happening.

There's very little we actually know about these video ads right now apart from the fact they're currently in a beta stage so no one can create their own ads for the moment. These ads can be up to 15 seconds long and can pop any time after five minutes of the video has passed. As well as this, publishers will have some semblance of control over the video ads. They can allow ads that only fit certain categories to show during the video or they can turn off ads completely if they think it'll be inappropriate. Their example of something inappropriate was a sensitive newscast, but let's face it, no one wants an ad to pop up in a video like a woman in the Chewbacca mask. No one is going to want to stream on Facebook or watch them if any silly video on there could bombard them with ads.

This beta stage is a rather simplistic test though so if it doesn't work Facebook will have to go back to the drawing board pretty quickly. Right now they're taking short videos from existing ad campaigns and are adding them into streams. We don't know if all users will see ads at the same time or if it'll be spread across and ads will pop up after a certain amount of time of watching a video and so on. The problem here is that we don't actually know all that much about anything and we don't know how much control we have. It's great that you can turn ads off but if you don't, we know the stream will keep going on in the background as an ad plays and your viewer could miss something important. If publishers can designate their own commercial breaks, then this could be a great thing. It would allow the creator to have a few second break if they need it and it means that viewers could be warned of an ad in advance. This would be well liked and could actually work quite well.

It's hard to say whether this test will succeed or fail right now as we don't have enough information. Until we've seen a few of these ad breaks everything about this is still up in the air.

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