Facebook Offers Tips for Effective Video Ads in a Mobile Era

In a blog post this week, Facebook VP of core ads Mark Rabkin discusses “Video Advertising in the Mobile Age” and includes some interesting trends in television and social media consumption. While TV remains a powerful medium, people commonly turn to mobile feeds, apps, websites and texting when television no longer holds their attention. Facebook conducted a small study of TV viewers who watched the season premiere of a popular show last fall and found, not surprisingly, that use of Facebook increased during commercial breaks. The post shares tips for creating more effective ads for this audience.

Rabkin notes that Facebook users watch autoplay videos “for 16.7 seconds on average” and video ads “in News Feed for 5.7 seconds on average.” However, “people aren’t watching ads for as long as they used to, on any medium,” he explains, which is one reason YouTube recently “killed off the 30-second non-skippable ad.”


Rabkin suggests that Facebook has learned some best practices in this evolving era, gathering tips from its most successful advertisers such as Airbnb, Nestlé and Ubisoft. Among the recommendations (for more details on each, visit the post):

  • Build brand new, short-form, mobile creative.
  • Re-organize to test and measure ads on a weekly cycle, not every 6 months.
  • Don’t try to equate disparate platforms.
  • Measure results, not seconds.
  • Transparency is paramount.
  • Measurement tools must evolve.
  • Build new ways to tell stories.

According to Recode, “Facebook’s big takeaway here is clear, and it’s the same takeaway Facebook has been offering for years: Advertisers should move their spending away from TV, because consumers have moved their attention away from TV. And if advertisers are going to move their dollars away from TV, Facebook is ready to take those dollars.”

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