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

Tags advertisingInternet-based applications and servicessocial networkinginternetsocial mediamobileFacebookvideo

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?