The Financial Times (and everyone else who saw the article) is reporting that Facebook is going to start inserting autoplay video ads into your Facebook feed.
I sense a brouhaha coming on.
But really. . . let’s talk about this.
First, is it even true? I’m not questioning the integrity of the reporter who wrote the story, but Facebook talks about doing a lot of things that either never happen or they happen and then go away. Even the changes that stick quickly become part of our routine – with one exception – I do wish they’d put Facebook Page updates back in my main feed because I always forget to check the separate feed. (Is there a way to combine them that I’m missing?)
My point is, that even if we hate it, we’re still going to log on to Facebook multiple times a day to see what our friends are doing, to play games and share our wisdom with others.
As far as autoplay video ads go, it’s not as insidious as it sounds. The whole rumor says that the first ad will start to play automatically but without sound. Personally, I don’t keep my speakers turned on so I wouldn’t hear it anyway, but for the rest of you, that’s a welcome note. The only thing more annoying than an autoplay ad are blogs with music and sparkly fairy dust that swirls over the page while you try to read.
Here’s the bad news for advertisers:
The social networking site will be charging in the “low $20s” per thousand video views, even when users have not activated audio, according to people familiar with Facebook’s plans. Each ad will be limited to a maximum of 15 seconds of airplay and, to give more powerful exposure for brands, Facebook will initially ensure that individual users see video content from only one advertiser in any one day.
Is if fair to ask advertisers to pay for a muted ad? I’m also amazed that Facebook is talking about showing only one ad per day. I know they’re trying not to annoy the masses, but is that going to be effective from a marketing standpoint?
The good news for everyone is that Facebook will make more money. That’s good news, because like it or not, Facebook needs money in order to keep the site going. A fact that consumers either don’t understand or choose to ignore.
Note to web-surfers: if you use a website on a regular basis, click an ad. It’s the least you can do.