Facebook Inc. (FB) is releasing its long-awaited video-advertising product today, as the world’s largest social network moves to diversify its revenue by tapping into television-marketing budgets. The 15-second spots, which Facebook began testing in December and delayed several times, will be offered to select U.S. ad partners starting today. The promotions will be rolled out into users’ news feeds in late April or early May. The Menlo Park, California-based company is also testing two new features that marketers can apply to its ads -- one for scheduling what times of day an ad appears, and another for setting a promotion’s reach and frequency, said Brian Boland, Facebook’s vice president of ads product marketing.
Facebook, which has said it won’t increase how often it shows ads to people, is bolstering its ad-product lineup as it seeks to charge more for higher-quality promotions. The company is going after the lucrative television-ad market, with marketers planning to spend almost 60 percent more on TV than on digital media this year, according to ZenithOptimedia, a research unit of Publicis Groupe SA. (PUBGY) Internet ads in the U.S. are projected to reach $43 billion, with TV advertising garnering $66.8 billion.
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