By Sahil Patel
We’ve known for close to a year now that Facebook wants to bring video ads to users’ news feeds in an effort to get access to online video and TV ad budgets. It looks like that’s finally happening, albeit initially on a small-scale as Facebook tests the product out.
Beginning today, a small number of Facebook users will see video ads for Summit Entertainment’s sci-fi film “Divergent,” which comes out in 2014. Confirming early reports, these ads will auto-play when users scroll or swipe past it in their news feed. However, the ads won’t be as obtrusive as some initially thought. Per Facebook’s announcement:
- Rather than having to click or tap to play, videos will begin to play as they appear onscreen — without sound — similar to how they behave when shared by friends or verified Pages. If you don’t want to watch the video, you can simply scroll or swipe past it.
- If the video is clicked or tapped and played in full screen, the sound for that video will play as well.
- At the end of the video a carousel of two additional videos will appear, making it easy to continue to discover content from the same marketers.
- On mobile devices, all videos that begin playing as they appear on the screen will have been downloaded in advance when the device was connected to WiFi — meaning this content will not consume data plans, even if you’re not connected to WiFi at the time of playback.
If you want a visual example of how the ads will function, here’s a video supplied by Facebook on the product: