Facebook introduced a program Thursday that offers consumers a financial incentive to watch ads on the site.
Facebook will now reward users who watch certain ads with Facebook Credits, which can be redeemed to purchase goods on Facebook Deals, the company’s new Groupon-like daily deals service. The incentive, however, is not huge. Initially, the average ad will yield one credit, which is equivalent to 10 cents.
The ads will mostly be in games. CrowdStar, Digital Chocolate and Zynga are among the participating game publishers. Facebook is working with Sharethrough, SocialVibe, Epic Media and SupersonicAds to serve ads on the program as well as TrialPay, which will provide analytics.
Dan Greenberg, CEO of Sharethrough, says Facebook’s move represents “a step away from interruptive advertising.” Greenberg, whose clients include Microsoft and Nestle, says his network won’t deliver traditional advertising but rather branded entertainment, which consumers will want to watch and share with friends.
Incentivizing consumers to watch ads is one solution for Facebook’s low banner click-through rates. The move comes after Facebook expanded its Credits program last week to let consumers use the Credits to buy real-world goods advertised in Deals. Previously, the credits, which were awarded for consumers who signed up for various programs (like magazine subscriptions) or bought outright could only buy virtual goods.