Facebook is trying something a little new in advertising in the News Feed.  according to AdWeek, the social network is showing marketers a photo-video hybrid that they’re calling cinemagraphs, which is meant to be an alternative to video advertising.  Cinemagraphs are basically photographs that show continuous motion in an isolated part of the image, similar to GIFs.  This form of advertising has been utilized since 2011 by photographers Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck, and they’ve had great success.

The format can be quite mesmerizing to look at if done well, and that could be a good thing for advertisers.

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“You’re going to start seeing a ton of these on Facebook,” an advertising executive who has seen a guide produced by Facebook called “Hacking Facebook Autoplay” told AdWeek.

The reason behind Facebook’s plan to use cinemagraphs comes from the fact that the social platform doesn’t support GIFS, although cinemagraphs can be loaded as a video since video autoplays in users News Feeds.  This can be quite an effective tool for advertisers.  Even last week’s Instagram update allows videos to loop.  This is very close to what a cinemagraph would accomplish, so placing something similar to the looping video would fit in well with Facebook.

“People can’t stop staring at them,” Burg said. “Isn’t that what advertisers want?”

A Facebook spokesman declined to comment.

You can read AdWeek’s story here.

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