The Edge

Facebook takes on YouTube with more video advertising options

Key Points
  • Facebook is adding more ways for brands to be selective about what videos and shows they advertise on, similar to programs Google offers for YouTube. 
  • It will also have a program that only charges advertisers if people watch the full ad or at least 15 seconds. 
Facebook's founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks to participants during the Viva Technologie show at Parc des Expositions Porte de Versailles on May 24, 2018 in Paris, France.
Chesnot | Getty Images

Facebook is giving companies more selective video advertising choices, addressing some of the concerns brands have brought up against them and their competitors.

The company announced in a blog on Thursday it will allow companies to advertise on premium video content through the In-Stream Reserve program. The Facebook-selected content, which it said includes "the most engaging, highest quality publishers and creators," would be shown to specific target groups verified by Nielsen. In-Stream Reserve Categories lets advertisers choose which topics they want their ads to run on, including sports, fashion and beauty, and entertainment. Facebook claimed its in-stream video ads are fully watched 70 percent of the time.

The offering is similar to Google Preferred, an option that lets brands advertise on the top 5 percent of YouTube videos. In both cases, the advertising is paid for in advance, similar to how television ads are bought during the upfront market season before programming airs.

Facebook will also allow companies to advertise on specific shows or be an exclusive advertiser for a single show. These types of ads are being tested on "Ball in the Family," "Returning the Favor" and "Red Table Talk."

In addition, the ThruPlay program will only charge advertisers if their ad is watched to the end, or viewed for at least 15 seconds. Google also has a program that only charges brands if people watch the full 30-second ad, as well as skippable ad programs that charge only after two seconds of viewing.

CNBC reported in February that Facebook had been in talks about several of these programs with media buyers, including allowing brands to advertise on specific shows.

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