- Facebook is testing video ads in the live video streams of some of its top Facebook Live publishing partners, according to Ad Age.
- "We're running a small test where a group of publishers have the option to insert a short ad break in their Facebook Live videos," the company told Ad Age in an email.
- Digiday and Marketing Land previously reported in June that Facebook was preparing to test ads on its Facebook Live streaming video feature.
Facebook has focused heavily on video over the last year: The company altered its news feed algorithm to make video content more prominent, and a Facebook VP recently predicted that news feeds would probably be all video within five years.
After launching Facebook Live last year, the company has been aggressively promoted its live video streaming feature to publishers and users alike. Now, the company is looking to understand how it can monetize live streaming and bring ads into the experience without hurting the user experience.
The current test is serving viewers with mid-roll video ads rather than pre-roll ads that are seen before the live stream even begins. Facebook has been active in protecting the user experience within its walled garden, so the results of this test should be an interesting barometer on what kinds of ads people are willing to accept within live streaming video on social media.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has previously gone on the record saying that pre-roll ads harm the user experience. The ads in the test appear no sooner than five minutes into a live stream and last for 15 seconds or less.
Despite Zuckerberg's preference against pre-roll ads, it's unclear if mid-roll ads will work out as Facebook hopes. Facebook previously said they would test out a "variety" of ad formats.
“What you can expect us to do over the next couple months is experiment with a lot of different models that are going to be appropriate for certain creators for certain kinds of formats and try to figure out what works, but really explore a variety of things,” Fidji Sim, Facebook’s video product lead, told an audience at VidCon in June.