If you frequently watch videos posted to Facebook, marketers may soon target you with their video ads, too.
Facebook added a new targeting tool Thursday that will surface video ads to users who frequently watch videos on the platform. If video views are an important element of a marketers’ campaigns, they can identify that to Facebook, which will ensure the videos appear for users most likely to click the play button.
This doesn’t mean users will see more ads than normal, a Facebook spokesperson told Mashable, just that the type of ads they see may change.
Facebook added the new targeting feature alongside other marketing tools meant to beef up their video ad offerings. Marketers can now include a call to action at the end of a video (like “learn more”) and retarget users who click on their videos with additional advertisements. Facebook’s targeting tools are getting more precise; this retargeting feature for video ads comes just one day after news that marketers will soon utilize Facebook users’ search queries on Google and Bing to surface more relevant advertising.
The new feature does not apply to Facebook’s Premium video ads, which the company rolled out in March. Instead, it applies only to standard video ads, or videos that brands share to their page and then pay to promote. Unlike premium video ads, which are 15 seconds long and play automatically, standard video ads can be any length, do not autoplay, and appear with a “sponsored” label across the top so users know it’s a promotion.
Thursday’s new ad features are a sign that Facebook is embracing the transition — or, rather, expansion — into video advertising, an area the company has long talked about but only cautiously explored. All ads on Facebook encounter scrutiny from users, but video ads particularly seem to draw a lot of attention.
Facebook is even working with the television advertising company Ace Metrix to screen all premium ads before they appear on the service, to try to make sure the content won’t turn users away.
Facebook is rolling out the new tools for standard video ads in the coming weeks, and users who watch videos regularly can expect to see more video ads along the same timeline.