For long advertisers have been demanding clarity on ad viewability. With social networks not giving any heed to their demands and having different standards for ads they charge for, advertisers have threatened to withhold spending. Looks like social networks are now giving in to the rational demands of advertisers and the latest one to do so is Facebook.
In a recent development Facebook made two big announcements to appease advertisers on viewability. The first announcement is that Facebook will henceforth give an option to advertisers to purchase 100% in-view impressions. Additionally, Facebook has a new partnership with ad analytics company, Moat, which will independently measure Facebook video ads. “The new features we’re announcing today offer advertisers greater control over how they run and measure their ads on Facebook,” said Facebook in its blog.
With the availability of new 100% in-view ad impressions, advertisers now have the option to purchase ad impressions where the entire ad—from top to bottom—has passed through a person’s screen in News Feed. This new buying option will be available for every type of ad delivered in News Feed, including text, photo, link and video ads.
Until this change, advertisers were charged as soon as any piece of an ad appeared on a Facebook user’s screen.
Additionally, Facebook is also coming clear on the measurement of video ad metrics. For the first time, it has partnered with Moat, an independent third-party, to verify Facebook video ads. “As part of the partnership, we’re integrating Moat technology to verify video ad views and view lengths, giving interested advertisers assurance that they know exactly how their video campaigns are performing.”
To start with, the partnership with Moat will focus on verifying video ad metrics. “We plan to scale Moat verification to include all other types of News Feed ads, including 100% in-view impressions, and the Instagram platform.”
Facebook credits this latest development to its focus on giving advertisers value for money. That isn’t true. Of late Facebook had to face a lot of heat in the video space where it is competing with YouTube. First on the Freebooting or video piracy problem, and second on the way the social networking giant has been calculating video views. While it is working to solve the Freebooting problem, the latest Moat partnership is in the right direction.
Advertisers like Unilever, Kellogg’s and WPP have been threatening for a while to withhold spending with some of the biggest publishers. It is not just Facebook, platforms like YouTube, Snapchat, Pinterest have faced the same heat since they too don’t follow a basic view standard.
Facebook charges, depending on how the advertiser buys, for 10-second guaranteed views or by impression. YouTube’s TrueView ad charges advertisers after 30 seconds and Snapchat charges for any ad loads, no matter whether the ad was watched or not. However, the basic industry standard is that an ad counts as viewed when it’s 50 percent on-screen and plays for at least two seconds, said DigiDay.
With advertisers demanding third-party ad measurement, Financial Times reported that YouTube is preparing to start allowing outside measurement firms by year-end. Twitter already has an alliance with Moat, just like Facebook has now.
The latest move has brought a fair amount of relief to the digital advertisers. “What we want is quite simple: Ads that are actually seen by real people. We want viewability standards across clients and publishers that honor that position, and we want publishers to be held accountable by independent third-parties. We’re very encouraged that Facebook is partnering with Moat as a third-party verified solution,” Rob Norman, chief digital officer at WPP-owned GroupM Worldwide said.