Facebook video adverts incoming?

Playing with fire?
Darren Allan

May 9, 2013

Facebook could be on the verge of introducing video adverts this summer, according to the latest social network speculation.

The usual “sources familiar with the matter” have been talking to the Telegraph, and spilling Facebook’s plans to further monetise its service.

The video ads will be placed in a user’s newsfeed, and will last for up to 15 seconds – plus the first one a user sees in their feed on any given day will start up and play automatically (admittedly with no sound, though you can turn that on if you wish, of course).

This sounds like a very risky move when it comes to angering the Facebook userbase, however – a fact that the social network is well aware of, as it plans to “proceed slowly” with the introduction of video adverts.

Not only are video adverts more intrusive in terms of the distraction from your feed, but they will obviously be sold using personal Facebook data to better target them, which could be a big money spinner for Zuckerberg (proper video adverts plus targeting equals marketing department heaven).

Monetisation is clearly something Facebook needs to pursue, but how far can it go without turning users off? Remember, Facebook’s membership is in an appreciable slump already in developed nations such as the UK and US – and we can see this move helping to accelerate that decline.

While the video clips will doubtless be kept pretty low-key, silent, and so forth when they’re first brought in, that will change with time.

And if folks don’t leave Facebook, it might still end up encouraging more of them to start using ad blocking software of one form or another – which will have a negative effect on Facebook’s advertising figures. And every other site on the net, of course.

This one seems like a dangerous game to us, and while this is just speculation, we can certainly well believe it’s what Zuckerberg has planned for the summer.


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