Facebook’s quest to boost revenue marches forward as we are now hearing reports that the social network will introduce video advertisements by the second quarter of next year. These ads, much like the simple text and graphic ads that already appear on the site, will be integrated directly into a user’s news feed.
Advertising industry executives say the video ads will appear on both the desktop and mobile versions of the social network. They will begin playing automatically without a user having to click to play or even roll over them but it’s undecided at this hour if audio will also accompany the video playback automatically.
As Business Insider points out, the site already allows advertisers to show video clips but Facebook users must click the ad to activate playback. Furthermore, in most cases, a friend of a user would have first had to like the advertiser’s profile page or comment on a particular video for it to show up in a news feed.
The idea behind the new ad platform is to attract advertisers that have traditionally purchased television commercial spots. Jason Del Ray from AdAge believes the length of each video could be capped at 15 seconds, a format that is becoming more common with television commercials these days. Such a format could allow ad agencies to share ads between the web and broadcast TV.
It comes as no surprise that many are concerned with the idea of the video’s autoplay feature, especially if audio accompanies the video. Ads such as this are usually seen as little more than an annoyance and could pose a serious problem for those who surf the social network while at work (maybe that’s not such a bad thing after all). One also has to wonder how audio-embedded ads would function on a smartphone while music is playing or even during a call.