Facebook Postpones Auto-Play Video Ads for Now
When I look at the announcement that Facebook will be holding back their auto-play video ads until at least next year, the consumer side of me breathes a huge sigh of relief. In more than a few ways the marketing side does the same thing.
Why the relief? In my opinion (not that of Marketing Pilgrim necessarily) I dread the interference of auto-play video in how I use Facebook. It sounds extremely intrusive so I can see it being a headache for personal use. Now, if I feel that way as a consumer, are there more that feel the same way and will get ticked if my ad interferes with their Facebook needs and wants? If there are I would have to wonder if an investment in this offering would be a good thing.
If you’re an advertiser waiting to hand Facebook a bag of cash to start running video ads on the social network in time for the holidays, it sounds like you’re out of luck.
Sources tell AllThingsD that Facebook has been advising some advertiser clients not to expect a rollout of the much-awaited auto-play video ad product before 2014.
The main reason for the current delay? Facebook recognizes the risk of upsetting its user base with the ads, which are expected to play automatically (though audio will have to be turned on by the viewer), so it wants more time to evaluate how its users have interacted with similar noncommercial videos that it started to allow on its platform earlier this year.
Facebook has a long history of upsetting its user base and that base always seems to bounce back pretty quickly. So why is this one causing such consternation? It’s because it is a significant change. This kind of disruption in the user experience could actually be one that drives a percentage of users away from the social network because it will become far too commercial. How many? No one knows that but it is likely in this case.
One thing for sure though is that advertisers are chomping at the bit.
Demand among advertisers for Facebook video ads is still high, even as Facebook continues to hold back the product, since brands are eager to reach TV-sized audiences on the Web, sources said.
What’s your take on this kind of advertising on Facebook? Will it be a disruption or just another hiccup that Facebook will work its way through?