Facebook’s Auto Play Premium Video Ads Disrupt Your News Feed

The social network announced today that it will introduce video ads in the mobile news feed, to the joy of its 1.23 billion users.

The only good aspect about Facebook rolling out video ads in the mobile (and soon in the desktop) version of its app is that the clips are played back without sound. The company has planned doing this since last September, but now they made an official announcement. Apparently, some of the social network’s members participated in a test for the past three months, and things must have been peachy since Facebook decided to gradually introduce the feature to the other users, as well.

The Premium Video Ads, as Facebook calls these auto play clips, will only be played during certain intervals. Luckily for us, the social network thought that these should resemble TV ads, and their duration of only 15 seconds emphasizes that. The sad news for advertisers is that this new ad service is not exactly meant for everyone. To qualify, companies must have very deep pockets, as Facebook charges between $1 million and $2.5 million per day.

Another good thing about the Premium Video Ads is that they’re not obnoxious. Users can easily scroll past them if they’re not interested, despite the fact that the videos start playing automatically. From this point of view, Facebook’s approach is less in your face than say YouTube’s, which forces you to watch 5 seconds of each ad before skipping. On the contrary, if the Facebook users are interested in the product or service that is being advertised, all they need to do to watch the ad in all of its glory is tap on the video to expand it.

People should expect to see the Premium Video ads in their Web and mobile News Feed in the next few months. The social network prefers to use a small number of advertisers and an equally small number of users in order to see how things are before going big with this advertising service. Ace Metrix, the company that helps Facebook identify the premium spots, plays a big role in testing the new feature. If everything goes as planned, we should all experience the terrible Premium Video ads in the not-so-distant future, as if the enlarged ads column in the redesigned Web News Feed wasn’t enough.

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