Facebook In-Stream Video Ads

In the past few weeks, Facebook unleashed a new placement within its ads platform. It’s called, In-Stream Video.

“In-Stream videos offer another opportunity to reach audiences by allowing advertisers to insert short video ads into native videos on Facebook.” -source: Facebook Business.

I saw my first one last night while watching a CollegeHumor video. My first thought was, “Whoa. What just happened. Is that an ad in the middle of this video?!” Here’s the video with said ad:

(updated, I watched it again and it didn’t run. Maybe it will for another first time viewer.)

I love it when Facebook offers new ad placements, but this one concerns me. What if I am a dog food brand and I natively post a video about rescue shelters benefiting from the use of our product and 20 seconds in, my viewers are hit with an ad from a competitor, or worse, a politically charged ad that causes my engaged viewers to stop watching.

Viewers that would have watched the entire video now stop short and don’t see the important CTA. I might even have ads that are triggered once a person watches over 50% of my video, but now I have other variables to be concerned about which could hurt the performance of other ads.

It’s hard enough to create video content that captures attention in a split second, but having to think about getting the point across before an in-stream ad hits seems a bit much. Some would say, “if your content is good enough from the start, people will hang on while the in-stream ad plays to see the end of the video.” That’s true but … still.

From both a consumer and a brand perspective, would moving the ad placement to pre-roll be helpful? Do you like the in-stream video ads? Or is this destructive to the Facebook user experience?