Facebook’s video ads have arrived

If your News Feed doesn’t already have video ads, they’re on their way.  

 

Kate Knibbs

Tech

Published Mar 13, 2014   Updated May 31, 2021, 3:30 pm CDT

Last year, Facebook started testing video ads, and has delayed their debut several times, but now the 15-second clips are on their way. The ads will auto-play on silent as you scroll through your feed, so if you don’t want to look at it, you can just scroll down. Tapping on the ad will expand its size and turn sound on. On mobile devices, the ads will pre-download when the phone is connected via Wi-Fi, so they won’t create additional data charges.

Only select U.S. advertising partners are able to place video ads in our feeds for this initial run, though the number of partnerships is likely to increase over time. Bloomberg reports people close to the matter said these ads cost companies $1 million to $2.5 million a day. But those figures aren’t confirmed. “We’re not disclosing initial advertising partners and we don’t discuss cost,” a Facebook spokesperson told the Daily Dot. What we do know: In a blog post, Facebook explained that the ad pricing will be “similar to how advertisers already buy and measure ads on TV.”

Ad targeting will be limited to age and gender for now.

According to ReadWrite, the ads will appear in most users’ News Feeds starting in April and May, so if you don’t see them yet, it doesn’t mean you’ve been excused from them. But these ads don’t sound like anything to get angry about; the set-up sounds similar to Instagram’s video advertising scheme, and far less intrusive than YouTube’s mandatory-watch ads or websites’ obnoxious tiny auto-play ads that you can never find to mute.

Facebook is working with a company called Ace Metrix to make sure ad quality is high. That, coupled with the long delay in rolling this feature out, suggests that the social network is working hard to balance opening up an additional revenue stream with angering users.

H/T Bloomberg | Screenshot via Facebook

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*First Published: Mar 13, 2014, 6:45 pm CDT