Facebook’s Plan to Test Mid-Roll Video Ads: Good or Bad?

Facebook is planning to test mid-roll video advertisements, but what does this mean in terms of viewing video on Facebook for users?

facebook mid-roll ads

The world’s most popular social media network is testing a new mid-roll format for video advertisements. Recode first announced this new format, citing Facebook’s quest for new advertising channels. While Facebook has supported video ads for quite some time, this is the first time it has supported mid-roll ads.

So, what are these new mid-roll video ads and how do they work?


The videos in which mid-roll ads are displayed have a 90-second minimum requirement, meaning the video displaying the ad (not the ad itself) must be at least one-and-a-half-minutes in length. Furthermore, the user must watch a minimum of 20 seconds of the video to see the ad.

Facebook will reportedly cap the ad at 15 second, which is half the length of YouTube ads.


Who’s going to benefit from mid-roll video ads?

In terms of pay, publishers will receive 55% of revenue earned from the new mid-roll video advertisements. In case you were wondering, that’s the same revenue-share as offered by YouTube for video ads.

The number of videos published by U.S. users has exploded, increasing by 94% from January 2014 to January 2015. For international Facebook users, the increase in Facebook videos published is a still-impressive 75% annual growth rate (AdAge).

For video publishers this move is good new, as they will have the opportunity to start earning directly from their hard work.

According to TechCrunch, there’s a possibility that publishers will use the first 20 seconds of the video as a teaser to entice users to watch the ad. In the initial video, for instance, you could explain to the user why he or she should continue watching. So once the ad plays, the user is more likely to stay and watch; thus, generating revenue for Facebook and the respective publisher.


Video has become an increasingly popular advertising format in recent years. An infographic published by Hyperfine Media suggests that 87% of online marketers use video content; 22% of small business owners plan on uploading a video in the next 12 months; and 90% of consumers believe product videos are helpful in their decision-making process.


A separate report published by Business Intelligence suggest that video advertisement revenue will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.9% through 2020, and that display video ad spending is growing faster than search and display ad spending.


There’s still a lot we don’t know about Facebook’s new mid-roll video ads, however. For starters, it’s unknown if Facebook users will be able to tell if a video contains an ad. If they are, perhaps some users will back out of the video to avoid the ad. This is probably the most likely scenarios, as online advertisements today are typically labeled in some manner.


What do you think about Facebook’s new mid-roll video ads?