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pre-roll ads

Facebook is Tapping into Pre-Roll Ads to Combat Their Challenges with Video

We’re all familiar with pre-roll ads (you know the ones that play before you can watch a video) and we all know we hate them. If given the option to skip, everyone does. Despite knowing how much users hate pre-roll ads, Facebook will begin testing this format next year.

The pre-roll ads are intended for the Facebook “Watch” hub. This means that at least you won’t have these ads flooding your news feed.

Facebook Watch is currently using mid-roll ads. It is said that the launch of pre-roll is a telling sign that their mid-roll isn’t doing too hot for publishers putting videos into Watch. When it comes to their mid-roll ads, there are policies in place. Mid-roll ads will only show on videos that are 3 minutes or more. This encourages publishers to make longer videos that can hold user’s attention.

pre-roll ads

Recode Media discussed the pre-roll situation with Tony Haile, the CEO of Scroll and “professional digital media smart guy”. Tony says that Facebook faces many problems with video being a revenue driver for them:

  • Pre-Roll in The News Feed – Pre-Roll are the most profitable but people use the newsfeed for discovery. If pre-roll ads make it to the News Feed than you would have just a feed of pre-roll which no one would consume.
  • Mid-Roll in The News Feed – People don’t tend to get far enough into a video before they move on. Due to this, people are making little money from mid-roll.
  • Facebook Watch – created because of the issues with video ads in the News Feed. They are hoping they can become like YouTube where people go to watch with the intent to watch videos.


Do you think Facebook Watch will ever become the next YouTube? I know I haven’t even ventured to Facebook Watch myself because there is enough video content already on The News Feed.  When looking for a specific video – I always venture to YouTube. It seems like Facebook has a lot of kinks to work out.

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