Facebook is testing video ads in News Feed: this is how it looks

By , Dec 17, 2013

We told you last week about a Facebook for iOS update that gave the social network the ability to automatically play videos right inside our timelines. Similar to how videos begin to play in Instagram as soon as they’re scrolled to, Facebook has decided to bring the feature to Facebook proper, and as Cody has already told us all, there’s no way to stop it.

Which we thought was a bit odd. That is, until the other shoe dropped and Facebook’s master plan fell into place: video ads.

Now Facebook has published a post on its “Facebook for Business” news page in which it explains how auto-playing videos – and ads – work, as well as offering up an example for those of us yet to be (un)fortunate enough to witness them in our timelines…

The news update from Facebook, which is obviously aimed at its content and advertising partners, explains the reason behind the company’s decision to offer auto-playing videos in the first place. Calling the ads a “richer storytelling format for advertisers,” Facebook believes that “sight, sound and motion are often integral components of great marketing campaigns.” We probably wouldn’t argue too hard against that, if we’re truthful. What concerns us is the inability to turn them off.

As far as usability goes, the implementation actually looks quite good. Sound will not play just because a video is in view and is the same method that Instagram uses. Tapping that video then loads it full-screen and at full resolution along with the accompanying sound. Once the video’s done and dusted, a further two videos are presented as a carrousel with advertisers no doubt hoping to use one video ad as a gateway to getting us to watch others. Those sneaky ad men!

Does this latest advertising move by Facebook leave you a little uneasy about the whole thing, or are you happy to watch a few silent ads for the sake of having access to the world’s most popular social network without having to spend a penny? It’s worth remembering that Facebook says this is all a test, but assuming advertisers buy the idea, how long before our timelines are full of auto-playing video ads?

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  • Tony G

    Great. So we get to waste our bandwidth on video ads now.

    • Bleez

      “show videos on news feed only on wifi” – option or something like that?

      • marcus1324

        That probably won’t happen because everyone would check that option.

      • Raúl Díez Martín

        They can use something like static ads on data, and videos on Wifi

      • Cesar D

        If everybody switches to Google+, it will be way better xD

      • Raúl Díez Martín

        Hope this

      • Mark

        I’m pretty sure there will be a tweak or a patch to disable this really soon especially if your device is jailbroken, there’s a high possibility.

      • John Watson

        I hope they put this setting, otherwise it is gonna be a massive fail.

    • marcus1324

      Bandwidth and Data

  • Jonathan

    First Instagram, next Facebook. Now what?

    • Apanizo2

      …iDB while you read the posts

      • Jonathan

        Nah. I’ve got Adblock for Chrome (also made for Firefox). :) Haven’t seen a single ad for a couple years.

      • Hussain Alsanona

        So am I in Safari it’s a useful tool

  • Alex Wilson

    Another reason to continue to use Facebook and others less and less. I hated the old Flash ads, and these will be just as worse. Besides this and the constant drivel posting of stupid “pictures” Facebook is dying a slow death in my book.

    If this keeps up we’ll need Apple to step up to the plate and allow us to turn them off at the device level.

  • Jailbreak Nation

    And jailbreakers win YET AGAIN! Lol you stock users are such suckers.

    • Research Rants

      How do we win? Did someone write a patch to kill the autoplay? Please link.

      • Derp

        Yes. It’s called adblocker. Also the patch thing is very easy too

  • Luis M. Maldonado

    Facebook is always adding new sh*t

  • Arthur Geron

    It’s always like this, a bunch of youngers have a great idea and put it to action, it becames a global success, the creators get rich, but then they start putting ads, and changing it too much, so they have “abusive control and manipulation” over the users and their content and also start putting ads and that kind of shit so they can get all the money possible for the usage of the app. Damn, why not keep it good, simple and free? Damn why get so greedy.

    • Jason Masters

      That is the question isn’t it why so greedy? Case in point Steve jobs and apple a company ran by a self proclaimed Buddhist yet he was so rich he couldn’t even spend it money doesn’t change people it reveals people.

      • Arthur Geron

        Yeah, but he got rich for his incredible ideas and stuff, I’m not saying Apple is perfect, but he did a really good job with the company. I’m sure if facebook ever made a really good smartphone they would/will put ads on its homescreen hahaha

  • Malay Mody

    Facebook is perfectly content to find crazy ways to get more advertising on the news feed but they haven’t updated the website with the new news feed that they showed off almost a year ago. What a joke. This is why Facebook is declining

  • Emre SUMENGEN

    This can we’ll be the last push for me to remove Facebook app from my iPhone and iPad. Or, I may continue to use it just the way I use it: open only notifications, which take it directly to the post. Never browse the timeline, as it’s useless anyways.

    Sorry to see such a good idea as Facebook, aching to jump into the trashcan :(

  • http://x-minimaxiireview.com/ Mike Johnson

    Yeah, very social, indeed ! :@

  • http://myspyreview.com/ Jennifer Scott

    Why is facebook doing this ? People are gonna move to g+ or twitter if they continue to do so.