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Facebook to implement autoplay video ads later this week

by Mark Tyson on 17 December 2013, 20:36

Tags: Facebook

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qab6lz

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Facebook announced today that it will start implementing autoplaying video ad posts from Thursday onwards, in a bid to help capture a share of the TV advertising market.

A video sharing feature was launched back in September, where shared Facebook videos by friends or page owners you follow started playing automatically, as soon as they appeared onscreen (though silently, unless you interacted with the video). Facebook claims that this feature has seen a more than 10% increase in people watching, liking, sharing and commenting on videos” and that “it’s a better experience for people and it’s leading to increased engagement.”

The video advertisements will follow the same system as described above and Facebook will be testing “this richer storytelling format” from Thursday this week. A number of users will start seeing a short teaser video of the upcoming film ‘Divergent’ in their news feed on mobile and/or desktop although Facebook stresses that the autoplay extension to adverts is currently a limited trial.

Concerns about the ads alienating users have naturally been raised by users and industry commentators. In a report on the BBC News, an analyst from research firm IDC, Alys Woodward, thinks that Facebook is "doing it in a reasonably sensitive way but if they get this stuff wrong people may stop being active and posting new content."

To address worries of mobile users, who fear that the video ads will eat up mobile data allowances, Facebook has highlighted that the “video ads that start playing when they appear on screen are pre-downloaded when you are on Wi-Fi so they do not consume additional data.” The social networking firm also says that for users who do not intend to watch ads; they can “simply scroll past and the video will stop playing.”

'Donate Now' button

Facebook also recently announced a new 'Donate Now' button which will allow users to give money to nonprofits quickly and simply. This was feature developed as a result of Facebook's donation system, which was set up for the Red Cross last month in association to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

“After seeing the generosity of people around the world toward this effort, we’ve been inspired to help everyone donate, at any time, to the organizations they care about most,” said Facebook in a blog post.

Although the new feature only works with a few charities at the moment more charities can sign up to have the feature added to their Facebook page by simply filling out an application form. Currently supported charity sites include those shown in the logos below.



HEXUS Forums :: 11 Comments

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That sounds insanely annoying, thank christ for Adblock though eh.
All good news. I can't wait for them to develop suitable technology to prevent you from changing focus or pausing said videos/muting the sound/etc. on pain of account deletion. That'll be great for user retention. Even Google+ starts to look appealing the more that FB mess with this kind of stuff.
FBP - Facebook purity :D
So, adverts are “this richer storytelling format”?

WTH? I mean, seriously? Whoever thought that cobblers up, can I have some of what they're smoking? Must be good stuff.

And
To address worries of mobile users, who fear that the video ads will eat up mobile data allowances, Facebook has highlighted that the “video ads that start playing when they appear on screen are pre-downloaded when you are on Wi-Fi so they do not consume additional data.”

So, they not only want to play advert videos, but get users to store them locally?

Well, as someone who doesn't (and won't) use Facebook, I guess I'm not entitled to an opinion, but if I was, I'd be less than impressed. To those that are and don't like it, put up with it or vote with your feet, as it were.
I'd never used an adblocker until Google had the bright idea of putting 30-60 second unskippable adverts to some of the videos, especially annoying when the video you wanted to watch was shorter than the adverts >:[