Facebook has said it will start testing ads on Instagram Reels, a short video offering, in India and other markets as it looks to help brands better engage with relevant audiences.
In July last year, Instagram had unveiled its new format 'Reels' in India that allows users to create and share short videos.
Reels and other short video platforms have seen strong growth userbase and time spent after the Indian government banned a number of apps with Chinese linkages, including popular short video TikTok. The monetisation efforts by Facebook would help the company tap into that opportunity.
In a blogpost on Thursday, Facebook said people are discovering and watching video in diverse formats across its family of apps, each offering distinct viewer and ad experiences. "Today, we're announcing new topic targeting options within Facebook In-Stream video, testing of Instagram Reels Ads and other ad experiences in Facebook Stories to help increase opportunities for brands to better engage with relevant audiences," it added.
The social media giant said Instagram will begin testing Reels ads in India, Brazil, Germany and Australia with tests expanding to more countries in the coming months.
India is among the biggest markets for Facebook. According to government data, there are 53 crore WhatsApp users, 41 crore Facebook users and 21 crore use Instagram.
A recent report by RedSeer had said Indian short-video platforms like ShareChat's Moj, Dailyhunt's Josh, MX TakaTak and others have managed to bring back 97 per cent of TikTok's user base on the back of aggressive marketing and user acquisition by these platforms.
Also, new users onboarded largely come from tier-II cities and beyond.
Facebook said the ads on Reels will be full-screen and immersive, similar to ads in Stories.
The ads can be up to 30 seconds and people can comment, like, view, save, share and skip them. "Ninety per cent of people follow a business on Instagram, and people are already embracing Reels to discover new creators and businesses.
"This discovery mindset makes it a natural place for businesses to express themselves creatively and find deeper connections with the audiences that matter to them," Facebook noted.
In the coming weeks, the company will also test custom Sticker Ads for Facebook Stories that was announced in March, with select advertisers and creators.
These ads allow creators to monetise their Facebook Stories with ads that look like stickers and receive a portion of the resulting revenue, it said.
"This is part of our efforts to develop new and innovative ads formats so that creators can monetise more types of content on Facebook, and brands can reach more audiences.
"We're committed to enhancing all of our products to make Facebook and Instagram a place that helps people and advertisers build meaningful connections across our apps," Facebook said.
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Facebook said over 2 billion people watch Facebook In-Stream eligible videos every month and, globally, 70 per cent of In-Stream standalone video ads views are completed.
"That's why we want to provide more choice for how advertisers can utilise our In-Stream offering. Starting today, we are launching a global test of In-Stream Video Topics that lets advertisers place ads in certain video topics through Ads Manager, allowing advertisers to align their brand messaging within content that is contextually relevant to their target consumer," it explained.
In addition to offering more control over where ads are placed, Facebook will also offer several brand safety controls for preventing ads from running alongside certain types of content within Facebook in-stream video.