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Instant Articles to host video ads

News, 01 April 2016

SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook Instant Articles, which will be opened up to all publishers from April 12, will also allow them to place video ads into posted content, the system's product manager has revealed.

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Josh Roberts said publishers will be able to place both autoplay and user-initiated video ads within Instant Articles, as well as being able to include pre-roll advertising before any editorial video content.

In addition, Facebook will allow publishers to place one extra ad at the bottom of every Instant Article, which takes Facebook's offer beyond its current stipulation that publishers can have just one ad for every 350 words of content.

"In our conversations with publishers, these changes popped up as the biggest steps we could take to make the biggest impact," Roberts explained.

"We care about user experience first and foremost, but we know this doesn't work if publishers can't monetise their content successfully," he added.

Instant Articles already enables publishers to serve banner ads and certain rich-media ads and comes with a host of measurement, targeting and placement tools.

But the latest offer of video ad placements suggests Facebook is listening carefully to any complaints from publishers over restrictions to content.

The social network revisited its ad policies at the end of last year following concerns expressed by publishers that they were not generating as much revenue as anticipated.

Roberts told the Journal that Facebook will continue to collect feedback from publishers and may make further changes to Instant Articles in the future.

However, he did not elaborate on whether they would be able to publish sponsored content as Instant Articles as they are reported to want.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal; additional content by Warc staff