If you thought Facebook Inc. had done enough so far, you might want to think again. On Thursday, the social media giant launched another program, this time for video and advertising content, stepping on a lot of people’s toes – particularly those who own media companies.
Facebook has grown into an unstoppable giant company, stretching its arms in a lot of different industry; the most recent one is advertising – and it’s already causing a lot of paranoia in the field.
Anthology, the name of the service they have rolled out, is a new video program set to make successful matches in the advertising world. How, you’re asking? Anthology will set up companies looking for advertisement partners with one of the seven media leaders it has signed with: Electurs, The Onion, Vice, Funny or Die, Disney, Vox or Tastemade.
These partners pledged to offer high-quality video ads for the brands that will go through Anthology to get set up with advertisers. Let’s be clear – Facebook doesn’t want to gain monopoly on advertisement production companies; your brand will still be able to work with whoever you want, and your ad will still run on Facebook.
However, Anthology offers a select range of top-notch media organizations. Considering that Facebook is currently being accessed more than 1.4 billion times each month, we can surely say it’s offering a huge vote of confidence to these media companies.
Facebook is now in the position of dealing with three major challenges. First, it will have the task of convincing both the public and major brands that it can produce quality content for advertisements.
Second, it will have to convince enough people to invest and be interested in the service, otherwise it will not be worthwhile.
Thirdly and most importantly, Facebook will have to make sure it doesn’t cause hostility in the publishers who haven’t been invited to participate in Anthology.
The program is part of Facebook’s initiative in the booming video business – a very lucrative one, if we may say. Their efforts have been doubling since a year ago when it started emphasizing its own video player – and it wasn’t all in vain: since April last year, daily video views have increased from 1 billion to 4 billion, according to Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s statement on Wednesday.
Anthology has been designed to work as a mediator between quality video producers and brands interested in advertising. What it basically does is match these prospective advertisers with media companies with a tool called “Creative Shop.”
Using Facebook’s versatile ad tools, such as planning, audience targeting, distribution and measurement, brands can easily find their match in the field of ad production.
Facebook, however, doesn’t get any part of the fees paid for the making of the videos – instead, it will make money from the video ads that the prospective advertisers eventually decide to buy.
Anthology is the result of several years’ worth of effort from Facebook, as it was trying to enter into the advertisement business with unique content. A couple of years ago, for example, Vice, Facebook and Budweiser got together and created an advertising campaign for the Made in America music festival.
Driven by the company’s focus on quality, Facebook decided to tap into already existing media companies that have the necessary experience and skill for making state-of-the-art web videos.
Anthology: improving the Facebook experience
On numerous occasions, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and many others from his team, have expressed their strong belief that anything a user sees in their Newsfeed should bring something useful to the Facebook experience in general.
Sandberg added that the ads that show up on Facebook should follow the consumer’s interests – offering the company a better opportunity to develop their marketing video skills as well. Facebook is still taking baby steps in this direction, but it wants to do it with style and quality.
That’s how Anthology was created – as a specific tool for reaching that very quality, but also as one of the most powerful moves into mediating better relationships between media companies and their readership – a lot of whom are social media users. It’s also a bold move, as Facebook is trying to get media companies to post their content directly on the social network.
In the U.S. media ranking, Facebook occupies a critical spot, especially in the category of companies reaching their users primarily through the online environment. It is so important, that it sometimes has the power to break or make a website just by adjusting its referral traffic.
That’s why Facebook’s move of getting publishers to post their original content directly on their platform (instead of posting links to their own websites) is creating a more than a slight paranoia; not only if Facebook set on taking a bit bite out of the advertising revenue, but it might also cut back on referral traffic.
And these fears might just come true. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Image Source: ItProPortal