As if your Facebook News Feed wasn’t cluttered enough, AdAge reports that Facebook is working on launching video ads and adding them to the mix.
Video ads, and even distribution, would be a huge addition to Facebook’s slew of products and services. Earlier this month, Business Insider reported that Facebook was clearly a forerunner as an online video platform since the social network was now the second largest distributor next to YouTube and beats out platforms like Yahoo!, Vevo, AOL, and others.
AdAge writes that advertising executives have been notified of Facebook’s yet-to-be-released video advertising product, although it’s currently still being tinkered with. The features that appear to have been set in stone so far are that these ad clips will be capped at 15 seconds (online ads typically average 30 seconds). This could end up changing the course of advertising standards if users respond well to the shorter time and the ads still end up being effective. It’s something of a risk, but one that could hugely pay off.
Of course the social network is treading a fine line that’s bound to anger many of its users. According to AdAge’s sources, the visual component of the video ads will play automatically. The audio component on the other hand, is being mulled over since the last thing users would want is to have to press pause or mute every time you’re browsing we log on. The desktop version of the ad units are said to expand into what’s essentially a full screen version of the ad, which will extend out to the left and right hand columns of your Facebook page, but for now the specifics on how the ads will look to users are murky at best.
While specifics remain to be seen, it appears that Facebook is focused on securing advertising deals for its mobile app, and less concerned with its desktop app. The ad executives, who had been briefed with a demo of the video ad unit on Facebook’s mobile app, say that a single ad can be shown to users up to a combined three times per day across platforms.
Among the unknowns right now is how Facebook will target these ad units to its users. If we based it off of Facebook’s existing platform, we’d expect that these video ads will be targeted based on demographic criteria or on brands that your friends have liked.
“The assumption is that these would be widespread campaigns,” one of the execs told AdAge. “They are looking to grab big chunks of money … millions of dollars.”
On top of the news that Instagram will gain rights to and be able to monetize users’ pictures, Facebook is undoubtedly getting bolder with its monetization strategy. If Facebook decides to automatically play the audio from a video ad unit for example, the intrusiveness will undoubtedly be met with widespread backlash by its users.