Facebook today introduced 15-second video ads, which will start playing without sound as they appear on screen and stop if you scroll past. If you tap the video, it will expand into a full-screen view with sound. The company says users can expect to start seeing these new ads “over the next few months.”

Facebook first started testing what it calls “Premium Video Ads” back in December. The company says they are designed “for advertisers who want to reach a large audience with high-quality sight, sound and motion.”

Facebook sells and measures the new format similar to how media firms do with TV: based on Targeted Gross Rating Points to reach a specific audience over a short period of time. In fact, delivery is measured by an independent third party, Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings (OCR), meaning advertisers don’t have to worry about Facebook changing prices: they only pay based on what Nielsen OCR measures.

Furthermore, Facebook says it is taking steps to ensure video ads that appear on its site “are as good as other content people see in their News Feeds.” That’s very important if the company is to keep investors and marketers happy, without annoying users.

Facebook has partnered with Ace Metrix, which will help it review and assess each ad before it appears on the social network:

Ace Metrix will allow us to objectively measure the creative quality of the video in the Facebook environment, and highlight performance indicators for advertisers such as watchability, meaningfulness and emotional resonance. We’re taking this step in order to maintain high-quality ads on Facebook and help advertisers understand what’s working to maximize their return on investment.

The average Facebook user will be the ultimate judge. For its part, the company says it will roll out the new ads slowly so it can monitor how people interact with them.

See also – Facebook opens up its social TV data for the first time in partnership with UK analytics firm SecondSync and Facebook takes on Twitter with new tools to give TV broadcasters access to its user data

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