It’s increasingly clear that Facebook is viewing YouTube as a major competitor.
In a blog post today, Facebook once again demonstrated its focus on video, with an announcement concerning the rollout of more video ad options. It’s a response to advertiser demand for even more control over where video advertisements are shown, the company said. These new options borrow heavily from some of YouTube’s very own video advertising models.
The first new video ad option coming from Facebook is called In-Stream Reserve, which will “allow advertisers to reach people watching video from a selection of the most engaging, highest quality publishers and creators.” Basically, Facebook is allowing advanced ad space buyouts from only its best performing video makers. The audiences for these video ads are U.S.-based and are verified by Nielsen.
In-Stream Reserve Categories is a sub-option to further customize In-Stream Reserve video ad campaigns, allowing “advertisers to choose content packages in specific categories, including sports, fashion/beauty and entertainment, bought in the same way as In-Stream Reserve.” If you’re advertising a line of makeup and only want to advertise on makeup tutorials and other beauty-related content, for instance, In-Stream Reserve Categories will allow you to do so.
If Facebook’s In-Stream Reserve video options sound familiar, it’s because YouTube has a similar program called Google Preferred. Google Preferred offers advertisers the option to advertise on the top 5% of content on YouTube. It also breaks down its most popular YouTube channels into a dozen categories you can run ads on.
The second video ad option Facebook is rolling out is called ThruPlay. According to Facebook, ThruPlay “allows advertisers to optimize and pay only for ads that are watched to completion, or for at least 15 seconds.” ThruPlay is also available through Facebook’s video placement network, which includes “Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network, which includes in-stream, stories and feed.”
The ThruPlay video ad model sounds very much like YouTube’s skippable ad format, TrueView. In its post, Facebook mentions that the video placement for ThruPlay video ads are in-feed, and thus, skippable when scrolling past, which can become very cost effective for advertisers.
One more interesting nugget of information in the announcement is Facebook’s test run of exclusive advertisers for specific, original shows on Facebook Watch. This testing is being run on Watch shows like Ball in the Family, Returning the Favor, and Red Table Talk.
Just this past August, Facebook launched Facebook Watch on a global scale. The social media giant has really been pushing its video content offerings, encouraging pages to launch Watch shows, and even enticing YouTube creators to create content for their video platform.
This latest announcement is just another step in Facebook’s campaign to take on YouTube as the place the internet goes to watch video content.