Video Not Quite the Format of the Future We Were Led to Believe

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Video! It’s the format of the future. It’s the only thing the kids today will bother with. If you want to get any attention on social media, you gotta get on the video bandwagon. Right?

Big ad buyers and marketers are upset with Facebook Inc. after learning the tech giant vastly overestimated average viewing time for video ads on its platform for two years, according to people familiar with the situation.

….Ad buying agency Publicis Media was told by Facebook that the earlier counting method likely overestimated average time spent watching videos by between 60% and 80%, according to a late August letter Publicis Media sent to clients that was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

….The news is an embarrassment for Facebook, which has been touting the rapid growth of video consumption across its platform in recent years. Due to the miscalculated data, marketers may have misjudged the performance of video advertising they have purchased from Facebook over the past two years….Media companies and publishers are affected, too, since they’ve been given inaccurate data about the consumption of their video content across the social network. Many use that information to help determine the types of content they post.

Oh well. Bygones. I’m sure all that money you spent building a huge video content department will still be well spent. Someday.

POSTSCRIPT: I should disclose that I’m a sworn enemy of video. It’s handy sometimes, but the information-to-time-spent ratio is usually so abysmal I can’t stand watching it. A few seconds for a cute animal video is one thing. Ten or fifteen minutes for an interview or a podcast or an explainer with maybe one or two small snippets of useful information is unbearable.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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