Advertisers can now use vertical video ads to target people’s news feeds in a recent move by Facebook. Facebook’s in-house tests reveal that people were more likely to watch a vertical video for longer and with sound when they appear vertically in their news feed.
“We know that people enjoy more immersive experiences on Facebook, so we’re starting to display a larger portion of each vertical video in News Feed on mobile”, a spokesperson for Facebook tells Marketing Land.
Facebook’s vertical video ads officially went live on 2nd September, following the likes of popular messaging app Snapchat who boasted similar success of vertical videos on its platform. People will begin to see more and more vertical video ads in their feed as previously hesitant brands embrace the opportunity to maximise the real estate of their video advertising.
Vertical videos have been around for just over one year but they previously appeared as square videos and people had to click on the video to see the vertical version. Now vertical videos, including ads and live broadcasts, appear vertical in the news feeds of iOS and Android devices. The videos take up two-thirds of the news feed and people can click on the video to view it full-screen.
Early adopters have reported that vertical video ads have a higher return on investment. US-based Laundry Service launched the first vertical video ads for LG and four other clients. The agency’s CEO Jason Stein tells AdWeek that the CPM is “three times less expensive on vertical video than square thus far”.
What effect do vertical videos have on Facebook’s news feed algorithm? The answer is very little. The algorithm doesn’t prioritise vertical over square videos in the same way it favours live video broadcasts over the sharing of recorded videos.
But, if vertical videos prove popular with brands, advertisers and audiences alike, it will have a bearing on the engagement metrics Facebook takes into account when calculating its algorithm. Native videos are one example that Facebook indirectly favours over videos shared from another video service (e.g. YouTube).