Facebook is said to be about to launch a video advertisement platform, which will place video content directly within targeted users’ news feeds.
According to reports in the Wall Street Journal, the social networking giant is set to announce the new advertising service later on today, with the initial roll-out of ads being introduced later this week.
Up to three videos a day will appear in users’ news feeds on both the desktop and mobile Facebook sites, and will play automatically, whether the user clicks play or not. There is no official word yet as to the length of these videos, but it has been claimed that they could run for up to 15 seconds.
The service has supposedly been set to launch for a while now, but the roll-out has suffered several delays, reportedly due to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s concerns that video ads within news feeds would have a detrimental effect on the user experience, and turn users off the social network.
Those worries could prove to be well-founded, as Andrew Adams, SEO executive at Hit Search, says the introduction of video ads on Facebook could “polarise” brands and consumers.
Andrew says: “Companies will obviously be interested in this ultra-targeted advertising based on demographics, but the average user may find this particularly intrusive.
“The adverts automatically playing without any prompt is the major sticking point. Ads currently running can be dismissed and ignored, but videos with sound could be a step too far.
“That said, as a ‘smart’ advertising platform, it could work well for companies who know their audience, and can narrow down their demographics to target users who are familiar with their brand or interested in the products/services on offer.”
While having autoplay video ads thrust upon them in their news feeds will no doubt annoy some Facebook users, as Andrew suggests, it may well prove to be a lucrative platform for brands.
Currently, television and broadcast advertising is an incredibly profitable business, with advertisers in the UK set to spend over £3.7billion on TV advertising campaigns this year alone.
However, with the rise of mobile technology, consumers are more inclined to turn to their smartphones to browse social networks during breaks in TV programmes, which means their attention is diverted away from traditional television advertisements.
In order to recapture consumers’ attention, brands will have to think about placing their video content on alternative platforms. Enter Facebook.