Facebook next month will start testing a type of video ad promoting products that users could tap and buy, a person briefed by the social network said. The ad format is the next step in Facebook’s strategy to prove to marketers its ads can drive consumer purchases, not just raise brand awareness.
“Shoppable video ads,” as the ad format is called, is an interactive take on brand-focused commercials. In these ads, information about products appears inside the clip when people tap on the video. For example, Nike could show a video ad of a person running, and a user can spotlight shoes available to buy by tapping on the video. They can tap again if they want to buy the shoes, although at that point they’d leave the video to connect to the retailer’s mobile website. The format is similar to one YouTube already offers.