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Facebook could start putting ads at the beginning of some videos, report says

  • Facebook plans to test so-called pre-roll ads at the beginning of videos.
  • Pre-roll ads are common on services like Hulu and YouTube.
  • Facebook has warned that it's reaching the maximum number of ads it can fit on the page.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers the keynote address at Facebook's F8 Developer Conference on April 18, 2017 at McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California.
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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers the keynote address at Facebook's F8 Developer Conference on April 18, 2017 at McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California.

Facebook might be experimenting with a new ad format, according to a report in Ad Age, amid jitters about the company's advertising growth and swelling costs.

Facebook plans to test so-called pre-roll ads at the beginning of "Watch" tab videos, a shift from the mid-roll ads that appear in the middle of videos now, according to Ad Age, citing advertisers familiar with Facebook's strategy.

While pre-roll ads are common on services like Hulu and YouTube, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said that Facebook users are different. Ad Age noted Zuckerberg's comments from earlier this year: "[O]ur model is not one where you come to Facebook to watch one piece of content, you come to look at a feed."

But Facebook has started to focus more heavily on posting serial content on its "Watch" video tab, which may draw more loyal watchers, Ad Age reported. Facebook declined to comment.

It's important that Facebook find new ways to monetize its business since the company has warned that it's reaching the maximum number of ads it can fit on the page. Facebook has also pledged to make a huge investment in content security staff.

In a Friday note released before AdAge's report, Morgan Stanley analyst Brian Nowak predicted that Facebook will make $565 million in revenue from the "Watch" tab video in 2018, on video spending of $400 million.

For more, see the full report at AdAge.com.

Disclosure: Comcast, which owns CNBC parent NBCUniversal, is a co-owner of Hulu.

— CNBC's Julia Boorstin contributed to this report.