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In-game video advertising hits Facebook

Trials begin as users earn Facebook Credits from watching sponsored videos

Facebook has begun testing in-game videos on a variety of its social titles, with users able to earn Facebook Credits by watching sponsored videos embedded within games.

Videos now appear in 350 different games and apps, with Facebook characterising the move primarily as a means to promote its virtual currency.

"It's another way to get users to be more comfortable with Credits," said Facebook's Deb Liu in a VentureBeat interview. "It gets developers to adopt Credits and helps users understand what Credits are."

A variety of companies will be providing the technology and the adverts themselves, with advertising firm Sharethrough claiming that a recent in-game social video campaign saw a 108 per cent increase in brand awareness.

The company also claims that brand video sharing rates within Facebook social games is historically 270 per cent higher than on other platforms.

"Sharethrough exists to help brands succeed with content, not ads. This program is a huge validation of that vision, as it will create premium opportunities for brand video content to be seen and shared," said Dan Greenberg, co-founder and CEO of Sharethrough.

Facebook Credits will become a mandatory currency from July 1, a decision that has caused considerable friction amongst some game companies - particularly Zynga.

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David Jenkins