#SocialSpeak: Facebook Capitalises on Video Ads and Google is Changing its Search Features

October 7, 2018

It’s no secret that the use of video in content marketing is on the rise, and while video marketing is frequently an afterthought, its value demands a front-runner position in any content marketing plan. So why videos?

Videos are a versatile and engaging content format that not only gives us a real-life picture of what is going on; it’s also easy to share across multiple platforms. Consumers like it because it’s easy to digest, entertaining and engaging, and marketers like it because it can give a potentially huge return on Investment through many channels.

Social Media giant, Facebook, has recently announced two new video ad buying options to help both businesses and publishers capitalise on the potential of video during the 2018 holiday season. The first is what Facebook is calling ‘In-stream Reserve’, which will enable advertisers to reach people watching video from “a selection of the most engaging, highest quality publishers and creators“, allowing advertisers to choose content packages in specific categories, including sports, fashion and entertainment. Through this option, advertisers will be able to reach larger audiences based on specific content and are geared towards boosting brand awareness with the largest possible audience.

The second option announced by Facebook is called ‘ThruPlay’. ThruPlay will enable advertisers “to optimise and pay only for ads that are watched to completion, or for at least 15 seconds”. This is very similar to Youtube’s TrueView, which is “built on the promise that you’ll only pay when someone chooses to watch a video ad”, meaning, that ads are charged when a viewer watches 30 seconds or the full duration.  

TruView format is the most common ad type on Youtube, and this addition will give Facebook video advertisers more flexibility over how their content is monetised, putting increased emphasis on higher quality Ad content.

In-Stream Reserve is currently available for selected advertisers targeting US audiences, while ThruPlay will be available to all advertisers globally in the coming weeks.

It looks like the Social Network is now keen on maximising its video ad potential, ensuring it provides the most incentive for both publishers and advertisers, as noted with the global roll-out of Facebook Watch back in August 2018.


In other news, Google has announced a new wave of updates for its features with an end goal to make its search similar to that of Social Media. Backed with AI, Google Search now anticipates and customises much of a person’s search experience automatically with a clear focus on Mobile. In other words, when launching the Google app or google.com, the first thing you will start noticing is the same style of content you see on other Social Networks, such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, so instead of scrolling through a static list of links or images, you’ll be able to tap through photos, video snippets and more.

So, what are these new feature updates you ask? Here is a brief overview:

  1. The Google Feed, which is a stream of information cards about your interests that appear in some of Google apps, is being revamped under the name of “Discover”. This feature has more granular controls over content that appears, and it will roll out to the Google homepage for all mobile users.
  2. Featured Videos, is another new feature allowing Google to automatically generate preview clips of videos you have searched, using AI to find the most relevant parts of the clip.
  3. Google Lens, is a feature that can scan the image you are searching, giving you relevant information about the same.

Now it might look like Google is competing with Social Networks, however, these updates are merely an acknowledgement of how people search today, and while it might look like there is no direct competition between Social Networks and Google, however, the main competition remains over (ad dollars), which are largely driven by search and as companies like Facebook start to invest more and more in search, Google can’t risk the perception that a competing company is better at creating mobile-first search features.  


Well, folks, that’s all for today. Tune in next week for the latest Social Media updates with  #SocialSpeak