Cue the user outrage: Facebook (News - Alert) is getting ready to launch a new video advertising initiative in April 2013 that will add auto-play ads to the social network’s news feed—i.e., TV-like video commercials will launch automatically from a user’s homepage. In terms of the annoyance barometer, the company has not yet decided whether the ads will automatically play with sound or not.
Facebook executives told AdAge that on the desktop version, the videos will expand "out of the news feed into webpage real estate in both the left and right columns -- or rails -- of the screen.” And while details are still being worked out as to the inner workings of the inventory, the video integration will be extended to mobile and tablet apps too. Facebook, the execs said, is also “working on a way to ensure that the video ads stand out on the mobile apps as well.”
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User backlash is almost inevitable, but at least the inventory will likely be capped at 15 seconds, the sources said. Most video ads in a desktop environment are 30 seconds and are simply re-purposed ads from television. This move, with Facebook’s scale, could give brands an incentive to create shorter, more tailored messages. Also, it opens the door for marketers to leverage aggregated targeting information from user profiles to launch dynamic advertising to bolster user engagement.
A recent survey from AOL found that online video ads are most effective when housed within short content clips, i.e., under 10 minutes. More specifically, short-form video produced a 25 percent higher brand recall and a 42 percent higher purchase intent for the featured product or service. Housing ads within something more personalized, like a social network feed, leapfrogs off of this trend. The research also found that consumers want more targeted and humorous ads, and, 67 percent of respondents would be willing to be answer a question to make their ads more personalized and enjoyable.Tara Seals has over thirteen years of experience as a journalist. Her areas of expertise cover the waterfront of the service provider segment, especially mobile networks, devices and applications; and video infrastructure, content and broadcast models.
Edited by Brooke Neuman