Earlier this month Facebook was redesigned and now they are experimenting with an interesting new concept for video advertising. Apparently, they are inviting Facebook users to rate and comment on video ads in the same way that users can rate and comment on everything else, from users pictures to news feeds.
Facebook has struggled to launch a successful advertising system that fits within its social environment. Typically, banner ads on Facebook are known to get low CTRs where they compete with other items on the page and are seen as obtrusive by users who's primary goal is to share information with friends.
So, why is Facebook testing this new approach?
According to representatives from Facebook, this innovative approach to video advertising is designed to "blur" the line between content and advertising in a way that makes advertisements less obtrusive.
"We want to get to a place where advertising is indistinguishable from the other content on the site," stated Tim Kendall, director of monetization for Facebook.
There is an additional aspect to this aside from merely blurring the lines between paid and unpaid content, and that is the potential effect of using the social premise to promote an ad.
When a user comments on a video advertisement, the advertisement and comments are then featured to others in that user's network. Users will be able to see what his or her friends think about a particular advertised product or service. The result would be that ads most commented on would likely gain additional exposure. Clearly this go either way in terms of helping or hurting the advertiser.
Facebook is also inviting users to rate the ads and and is even allowing advertisers to publicize endorsements of their products and services to different friend networks.
It will be interesting to see the results of this new approach.