Facebook to Launch Auto-Play Video Ads Next Year

by Dale Wright

facebook ads2 Facebook to Launch Auto Play Video Ads Next Year

Facebook is rumoured to be holding back the release of its auto-playing video adverts until next year, according to new reports.

Sources told AllThingsD that Facebook had originally been expected to be launching the auto-playing video adverts in coming months, but has now pushed it back until 2014.  In fact, at one point Facebook was going to launch the new ad service in the first half of 2013, so it’s really behind schedule with this.

facebook logo Facebook to Launch Auto Play Video Ads Next Year

Advertisers hoping to push their products through the auto-playing videos may be left disappointed, but Facebook doesn’t want to push out the service until it can be sure that its users won’t be annoyed by it.  About a month ago, Facebook began rolling out auto-playing, in-stream news videos to certain users.  These weren’t the same as adverts, as they wouldn’t come from brands, but just from friends who uploaded Instagram videos to the site.  The news videos were only tested on a small selection of people, were mobile-only, and didn’t auto-play audio.

Facebook is still trying to gauge the public’s reaction to these news videos, before it decides whether the auto-playing ads will work.  It will make a huge difference if Facebook decides to have audio ads auto-playing, as that will almost certainly alienate viewers.  It could also put users off if they start seeing video adverts that aren’t related to brand pages they’ve already liked popping up in their News stream.

Brands and advertising clients will be no doubt clamouring to get their hands on the auto-playing video adverts, as it offers a huge audience, similar to that you’d get advertising through TV.  This could mean that it might cost as much as that too.

Successful Facebook advertising is notoriously tricky; as many users report they use the site for social reasons and don’t want to be constantly sold at.  However, if Facebook gets it right, it could be a massive revenue stream for the social network.