In a major expansion of the Facebook Audience Network (AN), Facebook has announced that it is expanding its ad network to desktop and will start selling video ads on behalf of other companies. This move could build up in its competition with Google and other online ad players. The AN will deliver ads in both in-stream and in-article formats, Facebook wrote in a blogpost. "In-stream" video ads will play before, during or after (pre-roll, mid-roll or post-roll) video content on third party apps and sites across mobile and desktop, including video publishers like USA Today Sports Media Group. "In-article" video ads will appear on mobile pages of publishers, like Daily Mail, between paragraphs of text and play automatically when at least half the pixels are viewable and in this format, viewers will have the option to opt-in for sound. "In-stream" ads will be between 10 to 30 seconds, while "in-article" clips can be up to 20 minutes long, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). The company also informed that publishers can also opt to include the video ads alongside content on Facebook’s Instant Articles feature, where media companies publish articles instead of linking back to their sites. Comparison Facebook claims that its two-year-old Audience Network accounts for almost 6% of all time spent by U.S. web surfers on mobile. WSJ also reported that the number of publishers to join the network has grown by 620% over the past year and the division currently has an annual run-rate of $1 billion. Its ad revenue…
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