Sunnier Side of the Office

Facebook To Lift Ban on Pre-Roll Ads

Facebook is testing pre-roll video ads, an ad type it hasn’t previously offered to advertisers. This move comes after Facebook introduced Watch in August, a kind of YouTube rival where studios, celebrities and publishers create shows and try to monetize them. Facebook rolled out Watch with mid-roll videos, but now it’s set to offer pre-roll ads to Watch videos as well.

The introduction of pre-roll ads will likely be attractive to buyers, as “Advertisers like the guarantee of ads being seen at the outset of a video instead of hoping viewers reach the commercial break,” according to Ad Age.

BuzzFeed Reorganizes, Makes Staff Cuts

We recently wrote about the unprecedented disruption in the media business. Digital media companies, flush with VC investments, were for years riding high above the rest of the publishing business, but 2017 will end up being the year that logged a sort of correction in this space. A couple weeks ago, it was reported that BuzzFeed and Vice will miss revenue projections by as much as 20% this year.

Now a business-side restructuring and layoffs are afoot. BuzzFeed said last week that it’s cutting staff by 8%, laying off 100 people, mostly on the business side, according to CNBC. The move essentially helps the company realign its business to rely less on direct advertising sales.

Like many others, BuzzFeed hasn’t been able to scale its native content business as much as previously thought possible, so it recently opened its site up to something it previously eschewed: banner ads and programmatic advertising. According to Variety, “the 100 employees will largely be drawn from advertising sales and business operations, where [CEO and founder Jonah] Peretti signaled a different skill set is needed as BuzzFeed attempts to diversify beyond native advertising to other areas including e-commerce and programmatic ad sales.”

Despite these shifts, it’s important to note that BuzzFeed’s business overall is reportedly still doing very well, especially compared to other publishers.

BuzzFeed wasn’t alone in staff-cutting news. ESPN also said it was cutting 150 jobs amid subscriber losses and cord-cutting.

Report: How Organic Social Marketing Has Changed

By Michaela Fletcher

In a new report, eMarketer dug into organic social marketing and how its value has changed in recent years.

Social media was historically used as a brand-building tactic, with marketers leveraging organic posts to drive awareness and reach. When Facebook announced that it was drastically reducing the reach of organic (non-paid) posts to 2-6% of followers, brands were forced to change the way they use organic social.

Organic social has evolved, making some marketers believe that it is more valuable today than ever before. This change has brands refocusing their organic social efforts in the following ways:

Check out the full report here.

What Do Whitney Houston & Mark Zuckerberg Have in Common?

By Melissa Santiago

They both believe(d) the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way…to being active on Facebook. Until recently, Facebook required any new users to include a birthday proving that they were at least 13 years old.

They’ve now launched “Messenger Kids,” a platform, according to TechCrunch, that “lets parents download the app on their child’s phone or tablet, create a profile for them, and approve friends and family who they can text and video chat with from the main Messenger app.”

Ongoing controversies with YouTube — which we wrote about in last week’s newsletter — and a recent hack of Instagram Stories are weighing heavily on the minds of parents. Messenger Kids accounts are linked to parent Facebook accounts and will be linked to rely heavily on parental involvement and potentially providing the perfect balance of parental supervision and autonomy for the kids.