Oh, no — please, no: Facebook will unveil a new video ad product that will auto-play commercials upon arrival, executives told AdAge's Jason Del Rey. This most annoying addition, which will allow advertisers a chance to slap unsolicited videos all over the Facebook news feed, is expected to launch by April 2013, the sources say. And, to reiterate, yes, these will be the same variant of videos that pollute the ESPN.com homepage — the ones that start without you asking them to.
Facebook, which has been trying just about every kind of new ad it can this year, has not yet decided if these commercials will automatically play with or without sound. But in either case, you can bet they'll be a pain — and you can expect plenty of frustrated users. On the desktop version of Facebook, the vids will expand "out of the news feed into webpage real estate in both the left and right columns -- or rails -- of the screen," explains Del Rey. Meaning: they will be everywhere. Also, for people who use a million tabs on older computers, imagine a ton of video playing over and over: slow-load city. Add a little audio in the mix and we can already see the confused masses looking for that one tab with the unwanted sound coming out of it. Oh, yeah, this is a really great idea, Facebook. As if you weren't full of those this week already.