After recently enabling the feature for user videos, Facebook on Tuesday announced that it is bringing autoplay advertisements to user’s feeds. The new capability will allow advertisers to create short videos that will play automatically as a user scrolls through their news feed. Dubbed a “richer storytelling format” by Facebook, most users will undoubtedly declare it instead to be “the worst thing ever.”
This week, we’re starting to test this richer storytelling format for advertisers. Compelling sight, sound and motion are often integral components of great marketing campaigns, particularly when brands want to increase awareness and attention over a short period of time. From launching new products to shifting brand sentiment, this video format is ideal for marketers who are looking to make a large-scale impact, and for people who will discover more great content in their News Feeds.
The new format will start with an exclusive marketing campaign by Summit Entertainment for its upcoming film, Divergent. Short promos for the film will play on users’ news feeds, although thankfully without sound. If a user clicks or taps on any video, however, the sound will immediately kick in, forcing users to be careful where they click. Similar to YouTube content, recommended videos will be displayed after the initial video ends, driving what Facebook hopes will be strong engagement with advertisers’ content.
One interesting tidbit is the way that the company is handling the new ads for mobile users. Most smartphone users have limited data caps, and Facebook doesn’t want to enrage its heaviest users by consuming a large bulk of their bandwidth with unwanted advertisements. Instead, the company explains that the mobile Facebook apps will detect when a device is connected to a Wi-Fi network and automatically download several ads at once for later screenings, ensuring that you’ll never escape the reach of the ads, even while on the go.
Facebook autoplay video ads are rolling out now as a “limited test,” so many users won’t see them at first. If successful, look for a broader expansion of the program next year.