Google has announced that it’s killing off its 30-second unskippable ads feature on YouTube. The update, which comes into effect from 2018, is regarded by some tech bloggers as the company’s response to Facebook’s giant strides into live video.
In a statement per Campaign, a Google spokesperson said:
“As part of that, we’ve decided to stop supporting 30-second unskippable ads as of 2018 and focus instead on formats that work well for both users and advertisers.”
According to reports, YouTube will now focus on the six-second ads format, which could be regarded as more suitable to consumers. It’s shorter and consumers don’t have to wait for 30 seconds to watch a video on the video streaming site. It’s a different ball game if advertisers though; but if consumers don’t have too many grounds to complain, then it’s kudos to YouTube.
It’s a commendable move by YouTube, considering that consumers are not always pleased when they are made to wait to see their favorite video because of some ads. Advertisers on the other hand, won’t be pleased with the move as it means viewers don’t usually have time to view ads.
From YouTube’s statement, there seems to be an ongoing plan by the company to work out acceptable formats that will suit everyone [consumers and advertisers]. Whatever that means, the company has to come up with a policy that won’t affect its online popularity.
If ditching unskippable ads will help YouTube compete big time with Facebook; then it’s probably the best decision to take at this time. On Tuesday, Facebook rolled out a slew of updates, including vertical video. With vertical video, you can now watch videos on both iOS and Android. The company said its decision to roll out this feature was based on positive feedbacks it got from the test it conducted in 2016.
The social media company also added a watch and scroll feature that enables you to scroll through your News Feed while watching a video on Facebook. You can minimize the video you’re watching to a picture-in-picture view that keeps playing in the corner of your screen while you browse other stories in News Feed.
If Facebook continues to send out more updates and features the way they are at the moment, then Google-owned video streaming website has no choice but to double up on its efforts. It’s not like YouTube is facing extinction here—far from it, but the competition from Facebook could force advertisers to see the later as a more attractive option.
On a final note, why not ditch the 30-second unskippable ads feature right away? It’s not like we are towards the end of 2017—pushing such move forward sounds like forcing a bitter pill down the throat of a sick person.
Nevertheless, it is a great move—and one that is likely to get the backing of more than 60 percent of YouTube users.