If you are using video in your Facebook Ads you’ll need to consider ThruPlay optimization and how it will affect your campaigns. In September 2018, Facebook introduced ThruPlay ad optimization for video views campaigns. Facebook considers a Thruplay when your video ad is watched to either completion or at least 15 seconds in the case of videos that are longer than 15 seconds.
What is Facebook ThruPlay Ad Optimization?
Until July 31, 2019, the optimization was only available with auction or reach and frequency campaigns. On that date Facebook began rolling out ThruPlay as the default optimization for all video view campaigns to replace the familiar 10 second video views optimization. If you have been running any campaigns that were set up with the 10 second video views optimization rule, Facebook will have paused that campaign as of July 31st, and if you haven’t already, you will need to adjust the campaigns to use ThruPlay optimization.
Now when you create new campaigns with the video views objective, you’ll have two choices when it comes to optimizing ad delivery. Through play is the default setting and is considered videos good to completion or for at least 15 seconds. Your other option is 2-Second Continuous Video Views which are videos that are viewed for at least two consecutive seconds.
Facebook ThruPlay vs. 10-Second Video Views
At first glance through play optimization sounds as though Facebook will optimize your ad to reach people who will watch the video all the way through to the end and that is the case if your video is shorter than 15 seconds. If your video is longer than 15 seconds, however, Facebook will use ThruPlay Optimization to serve your ads to people who are more than likely going to watch the video for at least 15 seconds.
Advertisers promoting videos longer than 15 seconds may not think they will see much of a difference from optimizing for 10 second views to the 15 second ThruPlays, but the numbers show that it can be significant. When it comes to keeping a viewer’s attention on your video every second counts. For perspective, advertisers generally see a dramatic drop off in video views from 3-second video views to the 10-second video views.
If you’re making videos that are shorter than 15 seconds, optimizing the video to be watched through to completion has the potential to give you better results especially if you are considering Facebook and Instagram Stories ads which are maxed out at 15 seconds per ad clip.
Can ThruPlays be Used as a Retargeting Option?
Through play along with 2-seconds continuous view results are optimizations that apply to your ads and cannot be used as a measurement on your organic posts. However, 3 second video views and 10 second video views are measured on both organic post and add. Your video engagement custom audiences are built on both organic post an ad so you can use the three second and 10-second view metrics but not ThruPlays.
Setting Up Facebook ThruPlay Ads
To start using through play optimization, create a campaign in your Facebook Ads Manager. Choose video views as the campaign objective, give your campaign a name and click continue.
At the Ad set level, ThruPlays are automatically selected as the default optimization for your campaign. You can scroll down to the Budget & Schedule section if you want to change it to the two-second continuous views option. Also, determine if you want to be billed for your ads based on Impressions or ThruPlays. If for any reason you don’t see through play as an option and instead sees 10 second video views, your account has yet to receive the update, so you’ll have to wait for the roll out to finish.
Make any other adjustments you want to your ad set, including choosing your targeting and your ad placements. You can use this type of ad placement on Facebook in the feeds, the in stream video, instant articles, suggested videos, Stories, and Marketplace. You can use it in the Instagram feed and Stories. You can also use it on the Audience Network with in stream, native, banner and interstitial and rewarded video. You cannot use it in Messenger or for right-column placements.
At the ad level you can use a single video, a slideshow, or an instant experience. If you choose instant experience, you will not be able to be billed based on the number of ThruPlays. At this point, you’ll either upload your creative or choose an existing eligible post and then publish your campaign.
Editing Existing Campaigns
If you have an existing ad campaign that uses the video views objective, you’ll need to adjust the campaign in order to use the through play optimization. You do not have to turn off your existing video views campaigns or create an entirely new ones. Instead, you’ll edit the existing video views campaigns to optimize them for ThruPlays. You can check your account to see if any of your video view campaigns have been paused as a result of the change.
You’ll find the ThruPlay optimization settings at the ad set level within your campaign. To edit your campaign optimization, select the campaign you want to change and click the edit button. Next, choose the ads that you wish to edit and then scroll down your ad set options to locate the optimization and delivery section. Choose whether you want to optimize your ads for ThruPlay or 2-second continuous video views. Publish the changes.
When it comes to the video views campaign objective, you only have two choices for optimizing your ads either the two-second continuous views or ThruPlay. So what’s the point of talking about 3 second and 10 second video views?
Though you only have two options for optimizing your ads, all four of the metrics are still measured for an engagement and can be found on your reports across Facebook.
To take a look at this data, open the Campaigns tab in the Ads Manager. Click the columns drop down menu and choose Video Engagement.
Now you’ll be able to compare your video views audience retention across all four metrics.
Does this mean you will need to budget more for your ads because costs are increasing? No it means how your video views campaigns results are calculated on your default reports has changed and it may seem as though your cost per result has increased.
In an effort to better serve their customers, Facebook is constantly aiming to evolve and improve their ads platform and the ad buying process. ThruPlay Is an ad optimization that Facebook is providing for advertisers to achieve more video views to completion or to 15 seconds, whichever happens first.
The optimization has proven effective for advertisers to get results and as such, Facebook is now making it the default optimizations choice for video view campaigns.