Facebook’s New Social Video Ad Unit is an Engagement Magnet

Facebook launched a new kind of ad unit today that has the potential to drive much more engagement than any ad product on the site ever before has: embedded multimedia with comments visible to users’ entire friend list.

Facebook has created new home page advertising inventory with its upcoming redesign. However, this is the first time we’ve seen Facebook fill the sponsored home page slot with this kind of unit. The behavior:

  1. Clicking on the ad image opens a video player in-line
  2. Comments on the video are visible to your entire friend list.

The comments around the ad dramatically increase engagement with the unit, as the highly visible comments provide an opportunity for users to simultaneously draw attention to the ad by drawing attention to themselves. While this could backfire if comments degrading the advertiser are abundant (I saw a few “LAME!” comments about Tropic Thunder today), the ad comments powerfully take advantage of Facebook’s social dynamics to draw attention to an ad in a way that is impossible without the social graph. When is the last time you heard 9 friends talk about an online ad in the same day?

Ad comments are an interesting step forward in the evolution of “Social Ads.” While this kind of ad may not work as well outside of a few advertiser verticals, I expect that early advertisers will be pleased with its performance.

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11 Responses to “Facebook’s New Social Video Ad Unit is an Engagement Magnet”

  1. Loving the New Facebook, example 2: Comments on Ads at TRENDWATCH DAILY says:

    [...] Of course, this opens the door to negative comments about your product, but, as InsideFacebook says, “When is the last time you heard 9 friends talk about an online ad in the same [...]

  2. Facebook exposes its advertisers to trolls [Online Advertising] : VCsAndAngels - Venture Capital / VCs, Angel Investors, Startup News, Etc says:

    [...] Facebook ads play video and allow user comments. Inside Facebook’s Justin Smith gushes over the new format, saying it has the “potential to drive much more engagement than any ad product on the site ever [...]

  3. Social Media Blog » Blog Archive » Facebook Ads Get Comments says:

    [...] Justin Smith shares his opinion. [...]

  4. Kevin says:

    engagement ftw!

  5. Facebook new Engagement Ads = Really new? Really engagement? Really Ads? - Fast.Fwd.Innov@tion says:

    [...] to enable the ability for people to interact with ads through commenting it (example on left, from Inside Facebook), using it to send virtual goods (specific activity from Facebookers, though I do not see that so [...]

  6. Inside Facebook » Facebook Packaging Its Ad Products for Brands in 3 Ways says:

    [...] Facebook’s goals are generally true of anyone trying to monetize social media these days: gone are the days when brands buy clicks to micro-sites. Here are the days of viral endorsements, virtual gifts, and comments on your brand made more visible to friends. [...]

  7. Mon nom est Marilyse, et j’endosse cette publicité | Le blog de Revolver 3 : La gazette du Hangar says:

    [...] lance un nouveau format publicitaire, le Social Video Ad unit. L’unité publicitaire dédiée aux messages vidéo peut accueillir [...]

  8. Inside Facebook » Facebook Ads: Sponsored Virtual Gifts More Prominent in Redesign says:

    [...] unit is now available on the redesigned Facebook home page. The sponsored gifts ad unit follows Facebook’s new social video ad unit as one of the three new types of “engagement ads” advertisers can use to reach Facebook [...]

  9. When to extend your web site onto a social network « The Social Bazaar says:

    [...] trailer, discover nearest cinema) onto social networks as a matter of urgency. Hence we see Facebook trialling Video Social Ads and Adknowledge’s videotheater [...]

  10. When to extend your web site onto a social network at Nudge Social Media says:

    [...] trailer, discover nearest cinema) onto social networks as a matter of urgency. Hence we see Facebook trialling Video Social Ads and Adknowledge’s videotheater [...]

  11. Quel avenir pour les publicités vidéos sur Facebook ? | Média sociaux | Buzz Modedemploi says:

    [...] monétiser le 1er réseau social du monde ? C’est ce que semblait penser Justin Smith sur Inside Facebook. L’avis opposé était exposé sur Valleywag, qui mettait en avant le fait que ce système [...]

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