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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"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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