Video Ads in Social Media 2018

Shows Are Everywhere on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter—But Are People Watching?

Executive Summary

Long-form video is spreading across social media. With the June 2018 launch of IGTV, Instagram joined Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter in offering users TV-like shows. Some marketers are experimenting with in-stream ads, placing pre-roll and mid-roll ads in social shows. But the audiences are small and the measurement capabilities are limited. All the platforms have YouTube in their sights, and young people show the most interest in watching shows on social platforms. Still, this is an area that marketers should watch closely; early feedback indicates video ads in social shows, in-stream ads, may perform better than those in social feeds.

Who wants to watch shows on social media platforms?

Nearly half of social media users ages 18 to 24 said they are interested in watching TV shows on social platforms. The percentages dropped to 38% for those 25 to 34 and 35 to 54, and to 23% for those 55 and older.

How is social media affecting video marketing?

Advertisers are increasing their spending on social video ads, and some are looking beyond the feed for ad placements. In-stream video ads may be appealing in some scenarios because they avoid the viewability challenges of in-feed ads and because they are a familiar format. With more consumers watching long-form video on mobile devices, social platforms are hoping to give advertisers another place to reach them.

What types of in-stream ad units are being used on social media shows?

Standardization is starting to happen around 6-second unskippable units in social shows. Some opportunities exist to sponsor shows, but contextually targeted ads are limited at this point. Marketers are measuring these in-stream ads differently than other social video ads, focusing on branding metrics and completion rate rather than clicks or actions.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report analyzes the growth of long-form video and in-stream video advertising on the social platforms. It looks at ad formats and policies at Facebook Watch, Twitter and Snapchat. It also gives analysis of what marketers should consider when placing ads in social shows.

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authors

Debra Aho Williamson

Contributors

Tricia Carr
Managing Editor, Interviews
Annalise Clayton
Senior Researcher
Sean Creamer
Reporter
Natalie McGranahan
Researcher
Paul Verna
Principal Analyst

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