- Facebook unveiled software tools to help advertisers easily transform still images and text into mobile-first video ads. Mobile-optimized videos created with the social network’s Video Creation Kit can be framed in 1:1 for feed environments or 9:16 for stories on Facebook and Instagram, per a blog post.
- Facebook's Video Cropping Tool frames videos to fit Facebook's recommended aspect ratios of 1:1 and 4:5 for feed, 16:9 for in-stream and 9:16 for stories. The animate option automatically creates a video from still images like a static ad, company logo or photographs.
- The mobile video ad templates consist of several marketing objectives and lengths: promote a product (6 seconds) to focus on a key product to generate interest and sales; sell multiple products (6 seconds) to show several items, promote a special offer and drive sales; show product benefits (15 seconds) to highlight product features; and drive product discovery (15 seconds) to show what makes a brand's product unique.
Facebook continues to add features that encourage the development of mobile video for advertisers and content developers as the company seeks a greater share of online video ad spending. These software tools come on the heels of Facebook's Create to Convert, a tool that helps marketers add lightweight motion to still images.
Mobile-first creative increases the likelihood of brand engagement by 27% and message association by 23% compared with video ads that are not optimized for mobile, according to a Metrixlab study commissioned by Facebook and referenced in the blog post.
The latest software tools for video are part of Facebook's effort to boost online video advertising as the company’s user and revenue growth slow. The features aim to help marketers create effective ad campaigns that reach viewers as they shift their viewing behavior to mobile platforms. Mobile ad spending in the U.S. is forecast to make up a third of total ad spending this year, surpassing TV as the leading ad medium. Online video ad spending, specifically, is forecast to grow 13% by 2023, according to Forrester Research. The study notes that while the firm estimated display video will dominate spending this year, the pace of growth for social video is coming on fast.
Facebook last month also changed its methods for counting viewership for 3-second and 10-second video ads. The social network stopped including the time accumulated if a viewer rewound or rewatched a video so that its metrics only count unrepeated seconds of watch time. Facebook also introduced a new Video Plays metric in its Ads Manager and Ads API to better reflect actual video plays, not just impressions, when a video shows in the News Feed but doesn't play, according to a blog post.
Those moves come as advertisers demand better measurement on media platforms. Audience measurement company ComScore last month began testing a service to measure actual viewers, not the number of screens, among multiple platforms such as linear TV, OTT and mobile, per Broadcasting & Cable. Networks including ABC, CBS, Fox, NBCUniversal, the CW, Turner, Viacom and Freeform are testing the ComScore Campaign Ratings system, which is scheduled to be available in the fall.