Facebook to roll out autoplay video ads by April, report says

An Ad Age report says Facebook plans to add autoplay video ads to its social network next year.
(David Butow / For The Times)

Heads up -- you might see video ads on Facebook next year, and yes, they’ll start playing automatically.

Numerous TV advertising executives have confirmed to Ad Age that the 1-billion member social network has plans to roll out autoplay video ads to its website and mobile apps by April.


According to the report, Facebook is interested in TV ad money and will make a play for it by offering advertisers 15 second video ads that will show up on users’ News Feeds and start to play automatically.

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To grab users’ attention, autoplay video ads will also expand into the left and right columns of the Facebook website. The report says Facebook is also working on a way to ensure the video ads grab users’ attention on mobile apps too.

Autoplay video ads would probably draw criticism from Facebook users, and some of the executives told Ad Age that there are serious concerns on their part about a potential backlash.

“There could be serious outrage,” one of Ad Age’s sources said in the report.

The report follows another advertising issue Facebook is confronting after its photo sharing social network Instagram announced controversial new terms of service. The new document includes a section that says Instagram will allow companies to pay to use people’s photos and other information for advertisements.



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