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Facebook now automatically adds captions to silent video ads

People now watch 100 million hours of video on Facebook every day. However, it is still a challenge for marketers and Facebook that 80 per cent of users who watch the ads on mobile, do not like to play the video with sound. To address this, Facebook has now come up with a new feature for video ads that will add captions to them.

A Facebook and Nielsen study found that up to 47 per cent of the value in a video campaign was delivered in the first three seconds, while up to 74 per cent of the value was delivered in the first ten.

Facebook’s internal tests show that captioned video ads increase video view time by an average of 12 per cent. While earlier advertisers were only able to add captions to Facebook video ads by embedding captions or uploading their own caption files, but now they can choose to have captions added automatically. “Our new automated captioning tool generates captions for video ads and delivers them to the advertiser within the ad creation tool to review, edit and save to their video ad,” an official blog post explained.

The company has also added new metrics to its report for advertisers which will allow them to see the percentage of people who have viewed their videos with sound.

Mark D’Arcy, Chief Creative Officer, Creative Shop, Facebook said, “The best marketers are storytellers and they’ve always adapted their work to fit the most important medium of their time. Right now, that’s mobile video. And great mobile video is not about demanding people’s attention it’s about deserving it. “Creatively, mobile video draws on the craft skills and experience we’ve developed as an industry building for film, TV and the traditional web and compresses them into a new form designed to immediately connect with an audience; we call this connection the 3-second audition. This audition often takes place without sound so it’s important we use typography, graphics and subtitles to communicate our story so it resonates anywhere, anytime.”

Facebook highlighted the importance for marketers to establish a connection quickly as 65 per cent of people who watch the first three seconds of a video will watch for at least ten seconds and 45 per cent continue watching for thirty seconds. It’s critical to connect with your audience and capture attention right away. “Consider video thumbnail images and titles that will hook people into your story. Brand colors, themes and imagery can help people connect the video to your brand. Front-loading lifestyle/product shots and recognisable spokespeople can create interest, as can scenes with action or vivid backgrounds,” the blog post added.

In one study of Facebook video ads, 41 per cent of videos were basically meaningless without sound. Since most video ads in mobile feed are viewed without sound, it highlighted that brands should make sure to express their message visually.

The company also announced that the 100 per cent in-view buying option it launched in September is now available globally.

Shubhi Tandon

Shubhi Tandon is the Assistant Editor at Digital Market Asia. Fascinated by the evolving digital media industry, she has focussed on tracking developments in the Asia Pacific market since 2014.
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