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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Social 10: Facebook’s New Social Video Ad Unit is an Engagement Magnet

A few of us noticed a curious new ad unit pop up in our Facebook feeds yesterday. The unit is a video that also displays open comments from your friends circle about that ad. Real-time, ongoing conversation about the ad - which potentially gives advertisers a peek directly into the sentiment of the audiences receiving the ad. I think this is a game-changer for social ads.

Inside Facebook notes: Facebook will fill the sponsored home page slot with this kind of unit.

The behavior:
1)Clicking on the ad image opens a video player in-line
2)Comments on the video are visible to your entire friend list.

The comments around the ad dramatically increase engagement with the unit, as the highly visible comments provide an opportunity for users to simultaneously draw attention to the ad by drawing attention to themselves.

*While this could backfire if comments degrading the advertiser are abundant ("this movie is Lame"-type commentary could overwhelm - but hey, the comments are from your friends so it has a certain relevance to you), the ad comments take powerful advantage of Facebook’s social dynamics to draw attention to an ad in a way that is impossible without the social graph. When is the last time you heard 9 friends talk about an online ad in the same day?

Ad comments are an interesting step forward in the evolution of “Social Ads.” While this kind of ad may not work as well outside of a few advertiser verticals, expect that early advertisers will be pleased with its performance.

Aki's quick takeaways:
1) Ads will need to become more engaging and comment provoking or risk flaming commentary (or worse, not being worthy of notice and comment)
2) Advertisers will need to become reactionary to response...maybe change the ads up, or try 10 ads - monitor feedback/response/actions taken and let the top 2 effective ads move forward
3) Advertisers will need to become choiceful about what they put in this channel...relevance and interestingness will matter now more than ever
4) EVERY MEDIA will soon be made more accountable to results and data of this nature for every ad media buy


El Gaffney said...

calling me out, huh? why you gotta waste my flavor? damn! it is good stuff though - the ads and your thoughts.

Helge Tennø said...

Thanx for the insights. :o)

Would be interesting to see how this plays out towards the findings of Duncan Watts.

I'm thinking of the part in the Fast Company article saying that consumers being exposed to the ability to rate something (a set of songs in his example) ends up randomly rating it based on the ratings of the first contributor.

He tested a range of different groups and found that there was no coherence between any of them.

What would that mean for advertisers thinking of trying out this opportunity?

AKI SYSTEMS 2600 said...

send me a link Helge to the post you mention.

faris said...

which means you could maybe tweak people's response to the ad if you could get a few positive comments up there first - although if I understand this then you can't since you have to be a friend of someone...

Although this is a technique used by youtube viral seeders and that.