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Snapchat is launching a new format for video ads called Extended Play Commercials which allows advertisers to run ads up to three minutes long.

The video ads are skippable after six seconds and will be shown as mid-roll ads – similar to how Snapchat handles shorter ads.

The goal behind Extended Play Commercials is to let advertisers tell longer, more engaging stories to users who are already actively engaged with the platform. As the company tells AdWeek, Snapchat believes these ads will help capture a greater share of the video ad market:

“The company believes the flexibility that extended play commercials provides to video advertisers will help it gain more share of the overall online video advertising market.“

While the new ad format is currently only available in closed beta, advertisers can request access by making a request through Ads Manager or contacting a Snapchat advertising representative.

David Router, Snapchat’s VP of Global Agency Partnerships, says the ads are a great way for advertisers to connect with shoppers this holiday season:

“We’re committed to building high-impact, long-form video ad formats, and extended play commercials are a great option for online video and TV buyers. Heading into the holidays, this format is a powerful new way to reach our Generation Z and millennial audience in Snapchat’s premium, brand safe Discover content.”

Source: Shawn Campbell

Source: Shawn Campbell

Twitter’s ad revenue and engagement may be going up, but Twitter’s advertising platform is struggling to maintain growth as they see fewer advertisers using their service to promote their content.

According to Twitter’s latest shareholder letter, ad revenue grew 18 percent year-over-year, reaching $535 million in Q2. Similarly, ad engagement shot up 226 percent and the cost per engagement dropped by 64 percent.

That’s the good news. The bad news is Twitter is “seeing a continuation of the trends discussed last quarter with less overall advertiser demand than expected. This is reflected in both our Q2 performance and Q3 outlook.

The social media giant says there are two reasons their number of advertisers is dwindling while earnings are growing:

First, there is increased competition for social marketing budgets, which requires us to continuously raise the quality bar on the advertising solutions we bring to market.

Second, while we have worked to drive higher ROI for advertisers (by leveraging our current user base, ad formats and innovations in targeting, creative and measurement), we’re still priced at a premium CPE relative to others. This has proven to be a headwind in growing Twitter’s share of overall social budgets and in our ability to grow faster in both video and performance advertising.

Ultimately, Twitter is going through growing pains and it is reflected by the loss of advertisers. While Twitter is charging more than most social platforms, it is struggling to maintain its active user base who have been largely unimpressed by newer features and changes to the interface on mobile and desktop.

Instead, advertisers are following users who are turning to platforms like Snapchat, which already has more active daily users than Twitter.

The company announced several new ideas to help recapture their audience’s attention and incentivize advertisers to use their service. Among them, it showed off a “new look and feel” to its marketing efforts that emphasize that Twitter is “where you go to see what’s happening everywhere in the world right now.”

Twitter is also heavily investing into live sports streaming with agreements to stream games from all the biggest sports leagues in the U.S., including the NFL, MLB, and NBA. The only question is if these decisions will reignite the spark that originally made Twitter one of the most popular social networks in the world.

SnapchatLogoSnapchat has quickly become one of most popular apps and certainly the most popular temporary photo and video sharing network, but thus far they have yet to find a way to monetize their service. CEO Evan Spiegel says that will change very soon, as untargeted, disappearing ads may begin showing up in the near future.

The ads will appear directly within the Snapchat Stories section, between photos and videos from users, but most importantly for marketers they will not be targeted individually. “They’re [the ads] not fancy. You just look at it if you want to look at it, and you don’t if you don’t,” Spiegel told the Wall Street Journal. He also said there is not a set release time yet, but they would be here “soon.”

The decision to make the ads untargeted is fairly surprising as most would agree the ability to refine demographic and behavioral traits to target audiences is one of the most unique and powerful aspects of social advertising.

You can find out more in the piece from the Wall Street Journal.

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Source: Flickr

One of the most hated forms of internet advertising are videos that auto-play when you open a webpage. You might be surfing the internet, listening to some music, and suddenly the voice from an ad starts clashing with the song or blaring in the middle of a library. Yet these ads are all over the internet and Facebook has decide to make them a part of your News Feed. Are you cringing? Well, don’t worry. They made one important tweak which will make the experience much less annoying.

The social media giant announced today that they will begin testing News Feed video ads that auto-play when you scroll over them. The testing is going to be for a limited number of accounts during the test, but the ads will be very similar to the way user videos are shown in the feed. Search Engine Journal notes that Facebook began recrafting their video experience in September, making changes to make the experience more similar to Instagram. All you have to do is scroll past the video and it begins playing without a single click.

So what keeps these videos from being a huge annoyance? The videos don’t have sound unless you click to unmute it or expand the video you want to see. Facebook is keeping this functionality for their ads, so user experience won’t be disrupted by the tidal wave of ads playing over each other as you scroll down your feed. You can also bet advertisers will be crafting their ads around this functionality.

Facebook explained they don’t intend this format to be used for every video ad, and it is entirely different from promoting a post with a video in it. From their announcement:

This premium feature is specifically designed for awareness campaigns that are meant to reach a large number of people to increase interest in a brand, product or content, in a short period of time. Page post video ads can then come into play to sustain the message of this initial campaign over longer time periods, in more targeted ways.

Currently, the video ad units will only be shown from a limited number of individuals and pages, such as sports organizations or entertainers. Facebook also heavily stressed that the ads are currently only a test and the brand will make long term decisions based on what is learned from the test.