Commercials Make a Comeback Via Facebook Live

It’s a familiar pattern.

A new social media feature comes into being, builds a following and users get hooked. Then after it gains enough popularity, the advertisers swoop in. According to Ad Age, Facebook Live is the next in line.  

The suggested ads will be most comparable to traditional TV commercials; they won’t be pre-roll ads that play before the content like on YouTube and Twitter. (Fun fact: The reason the ads won’t be pre-roll is because Mark Zuckerberg himself is not a fan.)

An agency executive at Facebook told Ad Age the ads will only run after the broadcast has been live for at least five minutes and will last for a maximum of 15 seconds. In addition, the source stressed that Facebook Live ads are currently being tested, so it is not confirmed whether these rules will change or if they will roll out at all.  

Video publishers will be able to control what category of advertisements can play during their broadcasts and can turn off ads completely if the content is sensitive.

The news is certainly exciting for advertisers. Under the suggested rules, users will not be able to skip Facebook Live ads. They also offer an opportunity to advertise to a more engaged audience. Users typically watch broadcasts with the sound on and pay more attention than to a video automatically playing on their newsfeed. With popular Facebook Live broadcasts gaining hundreds of thousands of views, that’s a lot of engaged viewers.

What does it mean for Facebook Live users? It may be that the next time Chewbacca Mom laughs on Facebook Live, there will be commercial breaks.  

Written by: Kelsey Thompson