Analyzing the Facebook focus on mobile video ads
There is the obvious fact that 60% of Facebook’s ad profits come from mobile video ads. There is the not so obvious fact that Facebook has tested its product and has found it the more viable and practical platform in mobile content. While the prophets have pointed to TV-like experiences for Facebook’s faithful masses, it is not an imperative for them, nor is it something that Facebook is pushing. As the leading social media platform, it probably knows its current limitations and is content to exploit and consolidate in an area where there is real and lasting progress.
The mobile experience can be enhanced in any number of ways without directly trying to cut in on the territory ruled by traditional media like TV or publishing. First, there is the area of interactivity, of new-form communication that is now creating its own linguistic and symbolic shortcuts. It is a user language that binds everyone in a technological communion, exclusive of the less up to date, or the “tech savages”, if you will pardon the term. It creates its own interest forums that defy all standards of literacy with an enviable success – acronym abbreviations immediately come to mind – and it does so by upping user creativity and innovation.
So, why mobile video ads? First, the current market demand for all things mobile has created the need for a responsible corporate entity that will not lead advertisers into a waste of money and time. Facebook and the other online giants are being criticized for banner ads, but it is something that works very well for mobile. YouTube is not pushing out of its PC environment – and has not really ruled on programmatic online content either. Its rivals however are trying to put this over as the sine qua non of user experience in our awareness. YouTube knows that it is not so in the current dispensation. And Facebook has created its own ad environment which does not follow any other standard but the one which delivers the goods. It acknowledges the limitations and therefore creates best forums for images and video, like Instagram. It is all seemly and worthwhile, and consumer feedback totally agrees with it.
The creation of certain race to the finish rules is a marketing tactic sometimes used to push competitors into the wrong track. So far, the most success brands like Facebook and YouTube have retained their sensibility. The projections forums and prophecies are good for their 9-day wonderment – but such news will fade, and wait for the real thing to come out. Meantime, Facebook’s masses are content with what they have – and this it is for them that its mobile ads are geared for.