Facebook will begin testing a six-second pre-roll ads hub next year, the company announced on Thursday, confirming earlier reports. Facebook is also introducing new restrictions on when and which publishers and creators can insert mid-roll ads in their videos and changing how its algorithm decides which videos to prioritize in people’s News Feeds.
Taken together, the changes underscore Facebook’s pivot from the one-off videos that popularized the medium on its social network to the episodic series that the company has been investing in to cultivate a more TV-like audience and attract TV-level ad dollars.
Facebook’s pre-roll ads will only run within its Watch video hub. That limitation maintains Facebook’s long-held stance against pre-empting in-feed videos with ads and, since people must sit through the unskippable ads to see a video in Watch, makes it more likely that the shows Facebook has paid publishers to produce for Watch will return revenue to the company.