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Social Media Trends: Is Facebook Taking Over The Digital Ad Space? Exhibit B

1st March 2017 | Ben Lott

As promised, here is the second edition of eight&four’s look into how Facebook could be taking over the digital ad space. If you missed our first blog, you can find it here.

Exhibit B: Video Ads During Live Broadcasts

If you watch a lot of Facebook Live broadcasts, get ready to see some ads.

Over the past year Facebook has made no secret of the importance they place on video content and that shows no signs of slowing with the introduction of video ads during Facebook Live broadcasts. They’re currently in the process of testing short video ads that will play during breaks in Facebook Live broadcasts, although exactly how this is going to work once it’s rolled out globally is still a little unclear.

For now, Facebook is letting a small group of publishers insert a short ad break in their Live videos. The publishers must have at least 2,000 followers and have had 300 or more viewers simultaneously watching a recent Live broadcast. The ads can appear after four minutes into a live stream, show every five minutes after that and last up to 20 seconds in total. It’s safe to assume that if the test is successful advertisers may soon have the ability to create custom ads designated to be shown during Live broadcasts.

A key concern we have identified as advertisers is ensuring the brands we work with don’t have their advertising appear during Facebook Live broadcasts covering violent or tragic events. If this happened it could cause major harm to a brand’s reputation, as well as causing issues within the advertiser-client relationship. Currently there is no information from Facebook regarding the safeguards which will be in place to prevent this and it may prove to be a sticking point for advertisers in the early days of the ad format.

On a more positive note, what Facebook Live ads will allow advertisers to do is reach audiences with high quality, compelling video content during relevant live broadcasts. Music and sporting related brands could find this particularly important as concerts and games are now being streamed directly through Facebook live, opening up a huge potential audience to relevant advertisers.

There hasn’t yet been an announcement on when these ads are going to be publically available for advertisers, however at eight&four we’re already thinking about the best ways we could use these for our clients. The future of advertising is in online video and we’re excited about the possibilities these ads open up for advertisers and their audiences.

Stay tuned for the final post in our series on how Facebook could be taking over the digital ad space!

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