Facebook starts testing in-feed, autoplaying video ads

Facebook has announced that it will begin testing its new video advertising units this week for a limited number of accounts, confirming earlier reports.

Facebook clearly understands that one of its biggest opportunities is in grabbing a piece of the billion dollar video ad industry, which is mostly dominated by TV commercials right now. Its new video ads will appear within a person’s news feed and play automatically when the user scrolls down the page.

But before you decry Facebook’s move, it’s worth noting that the company understands users may not openly accept the change, so it has done a lot to ensure the ads don’t disrupt your overall experience.

First of all, the ads may automatically start playing, but you won’t hear any sound unless you enable it. I’m also guessing that Facebook has put a lot of effort into making sure the ads don’t drastically slow down the load time of the page content, which can sometimes happen when streaming video.

Facebook said it has been testing the mechanism for its new ads with regular videos and has seen a 10 percent increase in people watching since starting. Evidently, the process is relatively successful in enticing people to watch more videos, so naturally it’s time to roll out the version that will line Facebook’s pockets with lots of cash.

In its official announcement post, Facebook does indicate that the in-stream video ads are simply in testing mode and that the company will make a final decision about whether to roll the feature out to all users after seeing the results of the testing.

For a closer look at the new video ads, check out the demo video Facebook has posted on its business blog.

More information:

Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with over 1.15 billion monthly active users. Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in February 2004, initially as an exclusive network for Harvard students. It was a huge hit: in 2 w... read more »

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