Facebook introduces autoplay ads to third-party sites

Facebook has introduced autoplay video ads to its Audience Network after it highlighted the importance of native ad units its latest quarterly results.

Facebook’s native video ads were noted as a key performer for the social network in its latest quarterly results, and the social network has responded further by introducing such ad formats to its Audience Network, meaning third-party publishers can use them to monetise their content.

The move means Facebook can sell even more video ad formats, which are increasingly popular with advertisers on the social network, on behalf of third-party app developers which will further boost its bottom line, without it having to shoehorn more ads into its users’ Newsfeeds.

The social network yesterday (11 August) announced the extension of the availability of the ad formats, which automatically play within an app usage session, in addition to carousel ads which display several images in one unit, that can display as a user scrolls through an app.

The announcement was made via a blog post by Erika Washburn, a software engineer at Facebook, who wrote: “We have a deep understanding of what formats perform well and drive engagement in Facebook News Feed and are taking two of our best performing units and making them available off Facebook to further empower Audience Network publishers and help drive results for advertisers.”

Publishers that want to take advantage of the opportunity can do so by updating the Facebook software development kit (SDK) of their Android and iOS apps, and then auction off the ad formats within Facebook’s ad network.

Facebook noted how such ad units were a key performer for the social network during its latest quarterly results, its best on record – the social network generated over $4bn during the period. It also reported that up to five times more third-party app developers now use native app formats via its Audience Network compared to the start of the year when it first introduced the opportunity.

During its latest quarterly results, Facebook also noted how video ad units, along with native mobile units, drove significant amounts of revenue for the company, when revenue for ther period totalled $4.04bn,with mobile accounting for 76 per cent of all advertising revenue ($3.83bn).

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