Video Advertisements Coming to Facebook

Dennis Faas's picture

Facebook is reportedly planning to present users with television-style advertisements. However, marketing types be warned: advertising on the social networking site won't be cheap, with prices for each ad spot exceeding $2 million.

Rumors of the video advertisements began circulating earlier this year. Now, it's been revealed the company has cemented plans to launch TV-style advertising in the coming months.

According to reports, there were delays in finalizing plans because the firm wants to make sure the ads aren't too disruptive or intrusive.

Video Ads Aimed At Mass Market Audience

Recently, Facebook's Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg, made a point of comparing Facebook to television when speaking to advertisers last week. She noted that "every night, 88 million to 100 million people are actively using Facebook during prime-time TV hours in the United States alone."

The plan appears to be to reach a large number of people rather than targeting specific groups. Whereas ordinary Facebook ads can be set up with a wide range of filters (such as location, workplace, or interests), the video ads will only have two filters: age and gender.

Instead of paying to appear in front of a certain number of users, advertisers will pay for video ads by the day. The reported cost will be $2.5 million. (Source:

That means everyone in the targeted age and gender groups will see the ads over the course of a day. However, Facebook says the system will be coordinated to ensure no user sees the same ad more than three times in a day.

Facebook Video Ads Run For 15 Seconds

The ads will be 15 seconds long, or half the length of a typical TV commercial.

Given the format, the $2.5 million cost is the equivalent of charging $1.6 million for a single 30-second television slot. That's around three times the cost of advertising on even the most popular TV shows, with the exception of the Super Bowl. (Source:

Ironically, Facebook chief executive officer and founder Mark Zuckerberg recently announced plans to limit the amount of advertising found in the site's News Feed. He says the idea will be to have no more than one advert for every 20 posts.

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