updated 08:57 pm EST, Tue December 18, 2012
Facebook said to be pondering video ads in News Feeds
Next year, Facebook users may begin seeing video advertisements beginning to play automatically when they open up their news feeds. This according to several advertising industry executives, who say that the social network is preparing to integrate video ads into its format, allowing marketers to grab users' attention by expanding videos into the News Feed. Reportedly, the ads will play automatically, though Facebook is said to be still considering whether the audio component of any ad would be turned off by default.
The executives spoke to Advertising Age, revealing that Facebook has been showing off the new ad product in closed-door meetings. Like the audio component, it is also unclear how Facebook will ensure that marketers are only charged for those ads that are seen, as opposed to those that users scroll past or ignore.
The social network is said to be working on bringing the new ad feature to both desktop and mobile versions of its service. The mobile version is said to have been a central feature of Facebook's pitch to advertisers, no doubt an outgrowth of the company's continuing efforts to demonstrate its competence in mobile, which is becoming the dominant means by which users access the site.
Facebook is also working out how broadly advertisers will be able to serve video ads. It is unclear whether videos would be shown to users based solely on their user data, whether ads would also be shown to their friends, or whether advertisers would be able to show videos to users with no connection to a brand.