It seems people are always complaining every time Facebook changes something. Who remembers friends ranting and raving about the dreaded Ticker on the side that shows you what your friends are liking and commenting on? Or, what about the Sponsored Ads that never seem to be anything you want to see? I don't know a single person who supports the Timeline design, either.
Well, Facebook is gearing up for yet another changed aimed at keeping investors happy. Go ahead, get ready to complain: the social media giant plans to add video advertisements in the news feeds of users. This may be a wise choice to advertisers and investors, but what will the users think?
Both Mobile and Desktop Platforms Impacted
Advertising Age reports that according to industry executives, 15-second video ads will grace the News Feed of users on both mobile and desktop platforms. It doesn't matter which you use, you'll see the ads regardless. These ads, to further irritate users everywhere, will be auto play videos according to the report. What is auto play?
Simply put, the video ads that Facebook will implement will start automatically with no way to disable them. If you are using Facebook on your desktop, the ads will automatically become larger, extending out of the News Feed and into both the left- and right-hand columns. It has yet to be decided whether or not the audio portion of the ads will also be on auto play or not (turn your volume off now!).
In the works: a way to make these video ads eye-catching on the mobile platform. This, however, has not been hashed out fully, and is subject to change based on client feedback.
The executives referenced in Advertising Age's report, who claim to have gotten the inside scoop on Facebook's plans from Facebook directly, have stated that video advertising will be released by April “at the latest.” Additional details were also hinted at, but specifics were not mentioned.
A user will only be able to view the same video on Facebook up to three times a day, no matter what device the accountholder uses. Why would Facebook be implementing such annoying and bothersome ads? To attract TV advertisers, of course. Facebook is a company that seeks to generate profits (as do all companies).
As such, Facebook needs to gain more advertising dollars. As it stands, Internet advertising can be very expensive. Facebook is hoping to lower those costs for advertisers while also adding to the social network’s overall revenue.
A Win for Advertisers and Facebook: A Loss for Users?
Sure, advertisers would love to advertise on Facebook, and, in turn, Facebook would love some of that advertising money. But, it’s hard not to see the problem here: Facebook is bound to offend current users. Without Facebook users, ads will, quite obviously, be useless. It’s also hard not to wonder about the relevancy of each advertisement. Facebook users don’t want to be bombarded with ads, but they especially don’t want to be bombarded with ads that have no real significance.
Facebook would not confirm these reports, but didn't dismiss them either. One thing is certain: it is a risky move for the social network.