Facebook’s grand plan to become the future of TV is coming together.
On Thursday, the company announced that it will let publishers show ad breaks in the middle of their prerecorded videos for the first time.
More Facebook pages will also be able to show ad breaks during their live broadcasts, a feature that had been previously limited to a small group of handpicked publishers, including Business Insider.
These ad breaks are essentially mini-commercials that may run after a video has played for 20 seconds and must be at least two minutes apart. Facebook has said it won’t show pre-roll ads before a video plays like YouTube does, and these ad breaks are the social network’s first real effort to monetise video to date.
Facebook is letting publishers keep 55% of the money generated from these new ad breaks, and it’s currently working with a “handful” of US publishers to test them in non-live videos.
“Whether on Facebook or off, we’re committed to continuing to work with our partners to develop new monetisation products and ad formats for digital video,” Facebook VP of Partnerships, Nick Grudin, said in a statement. “It’s early days, but today’s updates are a step towards this goal.”
Monetizing video has become an increasingly important part of Facebook’s strategy to capture lucrative brand ad dollars from the TV industry. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said that video is a “mega-trend” for Facebook akin to mobile phones. The company is currently looking into funding its own original shows and is set to release a standalone app for TVs in the coming weeks.
You can learn more about Facebook’s ad break updates on its company blog.