Facebook has slowly but surely tried to endear itself to advertisers, most recently with an option that only charged them if their ad was watched for at least 10 seconds. On Thursday, the social network presented a new feature, one that advertisers have long been clamoring for: the ability to pay for an ad only when it is fully visible on users’ screens.
“While it remains our belief that value is created for an advertiser as soon as an ad is in view, we also believe in offering advertisers control and flexibility over how they run their ads,” Facebook wrote in a blog post announcing the update. “100% in-view impression buying gives advertisers the option to purchase ad impressions where the entire ad—from top to bottom—has passed through a person’s screen in News Feed.”
Ever the striver, Facebook has also teamed up with ad analytics firm Moat in the interest of transparency. Moat will track video views and make those numbers available to Facebook’s advertisers, as an assurance that Facebook isn’t ripping them off. Twitter, which similarly enforced 100% viewability for video ads and introduced autoplay earlier this summer, also uses Moat for the same purpose.
In a LinkedIn post last week, Rob Norman, an executive at advertising company GroupM, critiqued Facebook’s strategy for monitoring video views. “If, like me, you are somewhat puzzled by this and also wonder what 4 billion video views per day really means please join me in asking Google, Facebook, and Snapchat to align on a single currency and do so soon,” he wrote. In its blog post, Facebook included the following commentary from Norman, as a response to its new option for 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. We remain committed to view duration as well as verification of appearance of the ad in the viewable window and hope that all sellers will recognize and align on an appropriate measurement standard. Facebook’s scale moves the industry one step closer to the standards we’ve been seeking.