Facebook delaying launch of auto-playing video ads in news feeds

Facebook delay their auto-play video ads

Late last year it was reported that Facebook was about to release auto-playing video ads for news feeds on their site. This would mean all users would have video adverts automatically pop up and start playing when they accessed their feed. With nothing happening since then news of the delay has been confirmed, with a possibility that they could be launched as late as the end of summer.

It will probably come as a relief to users but the pause is in only temporary and it will still happen, there’s even a chance that it could come as soon as next month. The delay is thought to be because Facebook are still testing the ads, as well as making sure they are fully conversant with their tracking system – advertisers rely on this information and so it wouldn’t be viable without it.

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It’s also thought that advertisers are not all on board, due to the lack of targeting but also the high price point. Indeed, such is the price that it is only ever going to be a realistic advertising medium for larger companies with sizable marketing budgets. Originally the price per ad was going to be £1 million dollars per day or a maximum of $2.5 million to send to everyone. Now however that’s dropped to $600,000, presumably due to initial feedback from potential advertisers.

Having said that, Facebook are promising that the advert will be at the top of users’ feed for that particular day, granting it as much attention as a YouTube or Yahoo page take-over ad which run for a similar cost. The targeting, as mentioned before, is minimal and comes as four separate categories – men, women, under 35 and over 35. The cost to cover all four groups will be £2.5 million.

What’s less clear is what users’ reactions to the auto-playing video ads will be, presumably they won’t be that well received. That said, it is a free service they have opted in to use so perhaps having to view some advertising is not that big a price to pay. And certainly with other mediums (not least traditional offline advertising such as TV and magazines) consumers are already used to having to view adverts, on YouTube and the like.

Either way Facebook users will have to get used to the idea before the summer. Or share their photos and inane thoughts somewhere else!

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