Facebook are preparing to launch a video-based advertising platform in the summer, according to sources close to the social network.
Rumours abound that video clips lasting up to 15 seconds will appear in a user's news feed. The first clip a user sees each day will play automatically but without sound, which will have to be activated manually and will restart the video.
Online video advertising is one of the biggest emerging advertising platforms, and although spending on web-based videos is minute compared to TV advertising (less than 10 per cent of TV advertising budget is spent on online), it is predicted that online video budgets will grow dramatically.
Facebook hopes to create an attractive platform that will encourage brands to spend big, promising highly targeted campaigns that will enable businesses to directly contact their desired audiences.
Initial plans for the Facebook video advertising platform include limiting the service to show one video a day to users in their news feeds, to prevent brands from overwhelming their audience.
Some of the biggest brands to advertise prominently on Facebook include the likes of Coca Cola, Ford and American Express; it is expected that these brands will be amongst the first to be given the opportunity to trial video advertising.
So far Facebook has declined to comment on the rumours, but it is natural to assume that, if the service is to launch in the summer, that an official statement from the social network about the plans should not be too far away.