Facebook (and Twitter) Video Ads and Search Enhancements

Best Ever Sunsilk video adFacebook has been increasing its ability to collect advertising revenue from its platform since the company went public in May of last year. I’ve been impressed with the changes they’ve made; they are carefully balancing corporate concerns with the user experience. The news for today shows that both Facebook and Twitter are continuing to expand their ad offerings to businesses and agencies. Additionally, Facebook is looking to monetize its search engine.

Video Ads to Facebook, and They’re Expensive

Coming this summer, users on Facebook will be seeing a new type of ad. Additionally, businesses and agencies will have another option to reach consumers on Facebook – if they can afford it. According to Devin Coldewey on NBC News, “auto-playing video ads” may be starting this summer and “the 15-second spots could cost advertisers as much as $1 million a day.” Yikes.

I don’t think there will be many small businesses taking advantage of $1 million dollar Facebook video ads, but the move will certainly help larger corporations and their marketing efforts. The key to making videos work, as Devin writes, is finding “a way to draw attention to the ads without disrupting ordinary browsing.”

In all honesty, the increase in ads and unwanted posts on my Facebook news feed has been getting to the point where I’m noticing it and getting a little annoyed. Facebook really does need to find a way to implement these videos without causing more disturbances.

How Will They Target Video Ads?

It appears Facebook is looking for only four ads a day. That’s $4 million a day for the company and quite a jump in revenue. According to Jason Notte at MSN Money, Facebook has a plan for who they will target these four ads to. He writes, that Facebook will “[go] after the somewhat broad swaths of women over 30, women under 30, men over 30, and men under 30.” This gives them the power to lure big brands from traditional advertising into digital.

Video Ads to Twitter, too?

Apparently Twitter is looking to get into the video ad craze, but probably for less than $1 million a pop. According to Doublas MacMillan, Edmund Lee, and Alex Sherman for Bloomberg, “Twitter Inc. is close to reaching partnerships with television networks that would bring more high-quality video content and advertising to the social site.” I was rather surprised to hear about this, but I suppose video has a place on Twitter as well. The system may be as simple as providing streaming video with ads on Twitter itself, or something a bit more targeted like Facebook. We’ll have to wait and see for more details.

Lastly, Facebook Graph Search Looking to Monetize Already

With Facebook’s Graph Search not even in full rollout yet, the company has already started planning on how it will monetize the search. Given Graph Search’s ability to answer personal, human questions about the people in a users network, it could provide some interesting targeting abilities.

According to Alyson Shontell at the Business Insider, “Facebook is targeting Graph Search ads the same way other Facebook ads are delivered.” They may figure out a better way to target these ads, which hopefully they will do. It would be a shame to waste the uniqueness of Graph Search on the same old targeting techniques.

Social Media Not Slowing Down

Whatever your take on the latest changes for Facebook and Twitter, it’s obvious that these platforms aren’t slowing down at all. Facebook especially has demonstrated over the past year that it can make the changes it must make to survive and more importantly, thrive. The more opportunities for businesses and agencies to reach consumers, the better these social media platforms look and the more effective they will be. I’m sure it won’t be long before I’m writing another post about what’s next for Facebook or Twitter.

What do you think about video ads on Facebook and Twitter? Will Graph Search be as effective at reaching consumers as traditional search is?

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Patrick currently lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, where he is studying for a Master's Degree in Intercultural Relations. Upon graduation from Penn State in 2008, he spent two years overseas in Kyrgyzstan with the U.S. Peace Corps. While writing is currently his chosen way to put food on the table, he loves fitness and exercise, which he believes makes up for his avid computer gaming habit.

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