Facebook’s rumored to include auto-playing video ads this summer – eek!!
Some sources say that the 15-second video ads could appear as soon as July – and the kicker is that they will be directly in your news feed.
We all remember what happened when MySpace over-cluttered its space with ads and hurt its user experience (although that changed in its reincarnation this past fall). Now that Facebook is publicly traded, its feeling the pressure to increase revenues and hijacking news feeds may be the way to do it. Considering the sheer volume of users, advertisers are itching to get their message in front of them if they get annoyed, things could go seriously wrong.
Although Facebook tests everything and course-corrects as needed, the challenge here will be to find a balance between generating revenue and the psychology of what Facebook users think the service is (no one likes being sold to). And because people use Facebook to connect with friends – not brands, it can be a fine line but if anyone can walk it, it’s Facebook. In fact, just last month Facebook announced that users have made over 2 billion connections with local businesses.
Facebook’s most prominent advertisers include American Express, Coca Cola and Ford – it is these major brands that are expected to be among the first that will use video ads.
Online response to Facebook ads are mixed – some are asking why this wasn’t done earlier while others are questioning if they will continue using Facebook. Time will tell but I don’t think Facebook is going away just yet!