Facebook is going to announce video ads tomorrow, according to the Wall Street Journal’s sources.
The ads will reportedly appear in users’ news feeds and begin playing without the user initiating interaction with the ad first. Though the new ads are being announced tomorrow, they won’t appear in users’ feeds until Thursday, according to the Journal.
Until now, Facebook has relied on its Sponsored Stories and Facebook Ads products for revenue. These are regular photo and text ads that appear in the sidebar of your photos, news feed, and other pages or in-feed advertisements.
Earlier this week a slide deck outlining Facebook’s “TV advertising” strategy surfaced. In it, Facebook argued that the social network reaches a much wider audience than traditional television does. Through its existing advertising tools, Facebook can also offer a much more targeted advertising strategy than TV, it says.
Video presents a big dollar-grabbing opportunity for Facebook as more companies become interested in video content and its potential to go viral (Poo-pourri anyone?). Traditional TV advertising brings in $70 billion in the U.S. every year.
Of course, being able to deploy any type of video technology means extra engineering effort to make sure there are no issues around slow load times and picture quality. Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg got involved in the process, according to the Wall Street Journal, and even slowed down the development to make sure all the foreseeable issues were fixed before launch.
Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. is said to be the first video ads customer. It will reveal a trailer for its film Divergent as part of the program. The ads will be available to everyone on both the web and smartphones.