Auto-playing video advertisements are officially coming to your Facebook news feed, starting today. "We’ll roll out Premium Video Ads slowly and monitor how people interact with them," the company wrote in a statement, showing off the ad product.
Facebook's auto-playing ads were previewed back in December, but have been delayed several times as the company tinkered with their abilities. Previously, videos uploaded to Facebook by friends would auto-play, without sound, as users scrolled down their news feeds. Advertisements, however, would only begin to play if users clicked on them, after which the video would expand to full screen. That changes with this new rollout. Both friends' videos and sponsored ads will begin to play on mute as users scroll past in their news feeds.
If all goes well, the new ads should open a nice new source of income for Facebook. The company was originally asking for between $1 million and $2.5 million for an ad spot for one day, although Mashable cites a source that suggests the company lowered its asking price to $600,000. Either way, all of those numbers are more than companies pay for ads on YouTube, Twitter, or Yahoo. For advertisers, Facebook's ability to target specific demographics and its broad user base make it potentially worth the cost.
A trailer for the upcoming movie Divergent is the first ad that the company is previewing, and you can see how that ad will work in Facebook's statement. So in case your friends aren't yet obsessed with her, expect plenty of Shailene Woodley in your feed soon.