Retailers can now buy video ads for in-stream placement on Facebook or via Audience Network, which places ads on other mobile sites and apps.

Facebook Inc. on Thursday made a push to take on TV advertising by giving retailers and other advertisers the option to buy video ads that will appear as in-stream placements in videos on Facebook, across the websites and apps in its Audience Network, such as US Weekly and Huffington Post, or across both.

In doing so, the social network is ramping up its video advertising options. It had previously only enabled advertisers to run video ads on Facebook as stand-alone posts in users’ news feeds, aside from a test of in-stream video ads.

The move comes amid a broader push from Facebook to drive its users to watch more video content on its platform.

“We’re investing in an ecosystem of short and long-form video content that’s built for the range of ways in which people are watching videos and supports the publishers and creators making the content,” Facebook states in a blog post. For instance, last week it introduced Watch, a platform where it plans to feature original video series such as “Returning the Favor,” a reality series in which Mike Rowe features people who are “doing something extraordinary for their community.”

While Facebook had been testing in-stream video ads, Watch could give Facebook more inventory where it could place those ads.


“Publishers and creators are tailoring their content to their Facebook audiences as we provide more opportunities for them to engage people with longer content,” Facebook writes. “In-stream video ads on Facebook allow advertisers to reach those audiences within video content uploaded to Facebook by a select group of publishers and creators.”

In testing, Facebook found that more than 70% of in-stream video ads up to 15 seconds in length were watched to completion, the social network says.