Facebook just gave us another reason to quit Facebook. In a press release published today, the social media giant said they will start to roll out new auto-playing video ads that will start to appear in (some of your) News Feeds as soon as this week:
Since September, we've been testing a way to make videos more engaging on Facebook, and as a result we've seen views, likes, shares and comments increase more than 10 percent. We're beginning to test a similar video viewing format for advertisers. Marketers will be able to use this new format to tell their stories to a large number of people on Facebook in a short amount of time - with high-quality sight, sound and motion. This approach will continue to improve the quality of ads that you see in News Feed.
We prefer our Christian Mingle ads as low-quality as possible, thanks.
The ads will start to play as you scroll through your Feed but will stop once you've scrolled away. They will default to playing without sound, unless you click directly into the video. The first round of ads will be for the film Divergent.
Last week, Tech Crunch obtained a document sent to marketers instructing them on how to sell the new video ads to clients. According to the 32-page deck, Facebook hopes to compete directly with YouTube and TV ads.
The Wall Street Journal reports that though the length of each video remains unknown, earlier reports said the ads may last around 15 seconds. According to the Journal, the new feature was delayed — to the dismay of many — because it is something of a passion project for Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who wanted them to be just right:
Some advertisers produced videos early in the year, anticipating a summer rollout, and were frustrated when Facebook pushed back the launch. Other advertisers worried ads might alienate users. Facebook founder and Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg took a personal interest in the video ads and delayed their introduction in part because of engineering problems that made them slow to load. In August, the Journal reported Facebook software engineers improved the back-end technology to speed up ads.
Facebook hopes the new product will help win it a share of the $66.4 billion a year television advertising market.