Mandatory commercial breaks are coming soon to your Facebook News Feed.

Facebook is currently shopping around its most outlandish ad unit yet, AdAge reported today. The social network plans to debut video advertisements that autoplay in the News Feed and is said to be courting TV advertisers with deep pockets. The ads are slated for release in the first half of 2013.

When reached for comment, a Facebook spokesperson declined to discuss the company’s plans around video ads.

Facebook is hoping to attract the type of premium ads you see on television, according to the report. The company plans to allow advertisers to run 15-second spots that will take over your News Feed and play video, and possibly audio, automatically.

“On the desktop version of Facebook, the video ads are expected to grab a user’s attention by expanding out of the news feed into webpage real estate in both the left and right columns — or rails — of the screen. Facebook is also working on a way to ensure that the video ads stand out on the mobile apps as well,” said AdAge reporter Jason Del Rey, citing television industry executives.

Hopefully, the implementation of these video ads will be less obnoxious than what is being proposed. An inescapable ad inside a Hulu video is something web users have come to expect. A forced interruption of the News Feed, however, sounds like cause for Facebook users to revolt.

Even AdAge’s industry executives, who’ve reportedly seen the units in action, are fearful of the repercussions, particularly regarding the autoplay functionality. “There could be serious outrage,” one person said.

Old television image via Shutterstock


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