Facebook Adds More Viewable Video Options, Automated Captions For Autoplay

FBDespite the explosion of consumers watching 100 million hours of video every day on Facebook, marketers want more ways to make an impact in a video environment rife with muted autoplay.

Consequently, Facebook on Wednesday released automated captioning for autoplay video and a complete integration to third-party measurement provider Moat and rolled out globally a 100% in-view buying option for video.

Facebook had worked with Nielsen previously to determine how ads could be used most effectively in a muted autoplay environment. Earlier research found 47% of a video’s value in the news feed – for both awareness and conversions – happens in the first three seconds.

Using striking visuals or brand logos early on plays a big part in the overall effectiveness of autoplay video.

This finding led to Facebook’s launch of automated captioning or text overlays, which it claims increases time spent with the video by 12%. The tool will let advertisers automatically embed overlays in their video ads directly through Ads Manager and Power Editor and will be made available within the coming weeks.

“It’s a positive signal that when you put the captions into the video in an environment where sound is typically off, people engage with those videos longer,” said Matt Idema, VP of monetization product marketing for Facebook.

“For a long time, pre-roll video ads were created for 15 or 30 seconds, but mobile is so different. People don’t usually have the sound on and they’re scrolling continuously through the feed.” 

Facebook says it also wants to give video advertisers more choices for how they buy video ads on the site.

For instance, Facebook’s 100% in-view option, which it first beta tested in September, is designed to satiate advertisers who wish to know whether or not all of their ad’s pixels were viewable. This buying option is different than its option to buy 10-second guaranteed views, which are more about time spent and duration.

Although Idema declined to comment on the percentage of marketers buying against 10-second guarantees versus the industry standard of three seconds, he said advertisers generally wanted more options to support longer view times.

The IPG Media Lab and Integral Ad Science separately released data late last week showing time spent is often a better gauge of ad effectiveness than percent of pixels in-view on a page.

In addition to the general release of third-party measurement through Moat, Facebook will give video advertisers new metrics identifying how many people viewed their videos with or without sound within Page Insights. At a later, undetermined date, it will enable this capability through Ad Insights.

Although numerous studies have shown television and digital video ads are more effective when they’re audible, Facebook is sticking to its guns – it claims the mobile news feed is a different animal since often, consumers are on the go or multitasking, which is not the same mindset as user-initiated desktop video or live TV.

Autoplay, when used with the right creative, remains effective, Facebook says.

“When you’re scrolling through a mobile feed, you’re consuming ads differently than if you were sitting on a couch watching TV for a long duration,” Idema said. “Our stats show people are able to absorb information in the first few seconds, determine what that video is about and make a cognitive choice about whether or not to engage further.”


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