Facebook's news feed gets more commercial with video ads

Facebook could be going after TV advertising with the format, one analyst said

Facebook, in a move poised to give a major boost to its position as a mass media platform, will soon start placing video ads into users' feeds.

A small number of the site's 1 billion-plus users will begin seeing video ads this week on both desktop and mobile devices as Facebook tests the format, the company said Tuesday. The ads will begin playing automatically as they appear on screen, but without sound. The sound can be turned on by clicking or tapping on the video.

There will not be a way to prevent the ads from playing, but people can scroll past them and the video will stop playing, Facebook said. Additional content will appear at the end of the video that users can click on.

On mobile devices, the videos will be downloaded only when the person is on a Wi-Fi network, so there is no additional data consumed, the company said.

The new format, Facebook said, is designed to let marketers reach a large amount of people in a short amount of time. It follows some previous refinements Facebook made in September to the way videos play on its site.

The first such ads will be for the upcoming science fiction adventure film "Divergent." Facebook described the new format as an initial, limited test. So users shouldn't expect, at least for the time being, for their feeds to become chock full of promotional videos.

But for the format to succeed, Facebook needs to strike a balance between providing an effective way for businesses to market their brands without annoying its users. The introduction of video ads may not have a drastic effect on users' acceptance of the site, but the company needs to consider the context of the ads, said Andrew Frank, an industry analyst with Gartner.

Facebook's ad targeting technologies are already complex, but the site may need to make new considerations around providing ads to the right people at the right time, he said.

In recent months, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has described the site's ambitions to become a digital newspaper, so video ads might follow from that. The new format could also bolster Facebook's efforts to funnel more advertising dollars away from television, Gartner's Frank said.

In its announcement, Facebook referred to the "high-quality sight, sound and motion" that would characterize the video ads. "That sounds like an elevator TV pitch deck to me," said Frank.

Related articles on social advertising

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

Disruption Down Under – What’s Amazon’s real competitive advantage?

Savvy shoppers wait in anticipation, while Australian retailers are gearing up for the onslaught. Amazon’s arrival is imminent.

Change across the board: Why boards need to digitally evolve

Traditionally the non-executive board of a company acts in an advisory capacity - attending monthly board meetings to offer overarching advice and guidance typically focusing on:

Jodie Sangster

CEO, ADMA

The most desirable customers you’ve overlooked

“What will really move the needle?” This is a question that keeps leaders awake at night. And at the intersection of some of their top priorities – finding pockets of growth, redefining the customer experience, and making an emotional impact – lies a latent market: Their diverse customers.

Really inspiring !

Goldenboy Media

Jaywing sets sights on Australian growth with digital and data-driven agency model

Read more

Being aware of regulations or guidlines is just the start. As our CEO Emma Lo Russo stated exactly two weeks ago at an event we supported...

Alan Smith

​Are the Wild West days of influencer collaboration over?

Read more

Rebranding is always nice solution to get better organisation. Businessman may apply certain special services (for example, https://www.l...

David Hill

CMO interview: Spearheading the global rebranding of OFX

Read more

Thank you so much for sharing this article.Top Digital Marketing company in Bangalore

Way To DM

Predictions: 17 digital marketing trends for 2017

Read more

Thanks for the great article Jodie, agree many boards and senior execs are operating in outdated modes, just as we need some reverse soci...

sharyn

Change across the board: Why boards need to digitally evolve - Data-driven marketing - CMO Australia

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in