The social media giant is making Facebook ThruPlay for Video Ads the default buying option for video ad campaigns, which translates into the fact that You’ll need to manually change campaigns set to optimize ad delivery for 10-second views, or risk getting your campaigns getting paused, starting today!

Why should we care?

Initially introduced in the September of 2018 for all video placements in Instagram, Facebook, and Facebook Audience Network, such as Newsfeed and stories, the Facebook ThruPlay for Video Ads option optimizes ad delivery to target users who are likely to sit through at least the first 15 seconds of videos. Since users often tend to scroll past video ads altogether, this option would help marketers stay laser focused on audiences who actually choose to view the full ad.  The previous 10-second delivery optimization option targeted viewers who watched ten seconds or more of a video.

Starting 31st July 2019, the 2-second Continuous Video Views and the ThruPlay ads will be the only ad delivery optimization options you will be able to choose from. Advertisers have had their hands busy the past month manually switching their 10-second video ad campaigns to one of these options before their campaigns were paused by Facebook.

As compared to 10-second video views, Facebook says that for every dollar spent in campaigns via ThruPlay, marketers can hope to see a higher brand recall and incremental ad recall. As for why Facebook decided to make ThruPlay the default optimization for video views campaigns, the social media giant asserts that this move will help to align its offerings with what the advertisers want and also simplify its video ad buying options.

Facebook states, “We’re always working to evolve our optimization and measurement options to help businesses succeed, and we’re confident that this change will help simplify the video ad buying process and drive the results businesses care about most.”

How is Facebook ThruPlay for Video Ads Different from 10-Second Video Views Optimization?

When we talk about ThruPlay optimization, we automatically assume that Facebook will optimize all ads to reach people who are likely to sit it out till the end, which is the case for 15 second videos or even shorter. But for longer videos, Facebook is going to use ThruPlay optimization to optimize your ad for audiences who are likely to watch for at least the first 15 seconds.

For advertisers who often post longer videos, the minor shift from optimizing for 10-second video views to 15-second ThruPlays may not seem big, but it leads to huge differences in numbers. However, every second counts when it comes to maintaining a viewer’s attention on your ad. This is evident by the fact that as we go from 3-second video views to 10-second video views, the number of video views drop significantly.

For instance, the video below has garnered 2,494 3-second video views, but only 675 10-second video views. This is a huge difference in numbers. Only 27% of viewers made it past the initial 10 seconds. If the number of seconds a video was watched degrades at that same per-second rate, how many people do you think would make it to the 15-second video view mark?

For marketers who produce videos spanning 15 seconds and below, optimizing a video to be watched all the way to the end can yield better results, especially on Instagram and Facebook stories ads that only allow a maximum of 15 seconds per ad clip.

The SquareSpace Stories ad above displays the CTA in the last 5 seconds of the video. If we were still using the 10-second video views optimization, the ad would have been automatically optimized by Facebook to appear in front of viewers who are likely to view the video for up to 10 seconds, but not finish it necessarily. This translates into the fact that not all of the people the ad is optimized for would watch the video to completion, and thus are in danger of missing the CTA. This is taken care of by the ThruPlay optimization. This way, Facebook will only display the ad to viewers who are most likely to watch the video through to completion, and thus see the CTA. This is great news for advertisers who use the Stories placement in their ads.

Can Thruplays be used as a Retargeting Option in Video Engagement Custom Audiences?

2-second continuous views and Thruplays are optimization strategies applied to your ad and cannot be used to measure the success of your organic posts. However, 10-second and 3-second video views are measured on both ads and organic posts.

Since your video engagement custom audiences come from both ads and organic posts, these metrics can be used for your custom audiences as well.

How to Set Up a Facebook Campaign with ThruPlay Optimization

If you haven’t already, it is time to set up a campaign with ThruPlay Optimization. Start by creating a new campaign in Facebook Ads Manager. Select Video Views as the campaign consideration, name your campaign, and click Continue.

Facebook ThruPlay for Video Ads

The ad set step automatically selects ThruPlays as the default optimization for your Video Views campaign. However, if you want, you can change it to 2-Second Continuous Views by scrolling down to the Budget & Schedule section. You can also choose whether you wish to be charged based on ThruPlays or impressions. However, if instead of ThruPlay, you see 10-Second Video Views, it could be that your account hasn’t received the update yet.

ThruPlays as the default optimization for your Video

Adjust your ad set, including choosing your ad placements and targeting. The available ad placements for ThruPlay optimization include:

  • Audience Network: rewarded, interstitial, banner, native in-stream videos
  • Instagram: stories and feed
  • Facebook: Marketplace, stories, suggested videos, Instant Articles, and in-stream video.

ThruPlay isn’t available for right-column placements or Messenger yet.

placements or Messenger yet

Customize your ad type next. With ThruPlay optimization, three ad formats are available:

  • Instant Experience (excludes ThruPlay billing option)
  • Slideshow
  • Single video

Choose an eligible existing post or upload your creative, and then publish your campaign.

existing post or upload your creative

How to Edit an Existing Facebook Video Views Campaign?

You can also adjust your existing ad campaigns using the video views objective to leverage the ThruPlay optimization instead. No need to create new campaigns or pull the plug on the existing video views campaigns. If you don’t want Facebook to freeze your campaigns come tomorrow, alter your existing video views campaigns to optimize them for ThruPlays. At the Ad set level, modify the settings to ThruPlay optimization, select all the existing campaigns you are looking to modify, and click the Edit button.

Choose the ad set you want to edit. Browse through all the ad set options on the right, down to the Optimization & Delivery section. Either choose the Facebook ThruPlay for Video Ads or the 2-Second Continuous Video Views option. Voila; all that is left is to publish your changes.

Facebook ThruPlay for Video Ads

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