It’s been long-rumored, but it’s finally here: Facebook’s video ads are finally set to launch in newsfeeds in the next few days or so. A three month test with a limited number of users has just concluded, and the results are in: video interaction (such as likes and shares) increased more than 10% thanks to how Facebook integrated the ads into the Newsfeed.
We still don’t know how often we’re going to see these ads, or how much advertisers are being charged (though there will be different levels, depending on how often you want your ad seen). Summit Entertainment is the first up to bat with a set of ads on an upcoming film, and these ads will be seen on mobile devices, as well as the desktop version of Facebook.
If you’re thinking about possibly running a series of video ads, or if you’re just curious about how they work, here are a few facts you should know.
You can’t stop a new Facebook video ad from playing. Facebook has extended the courtesy to its users as to mute the sound on any video that’s playing, but nevertheless, videos play without any initiation. Even a slight hesitation when you scroll on either your phone or your computer will spur the ad into action. If you click or tap, the ad will play full-screen mode and then show you two additional ads you can watch after the first one.
There is no opt-out. You can’t tell Facebook you don’t want to see these new video ads. Everyone gets them, no matter how much they don’t want them. However, they only activate if you click or tap on them. You can’t stop them from being there, and you can’t stop them from playing, but you can ignore them and keep scrolling when you do see one.
The auto-play feature extends to other videos as well. Other videos have already started to auto-play, Facebook said. The videos that auto-play are the ones that have been uploaded to Facebook proper, not the ones that have been linked from YouTube. This includes videos that are from people and pages. The same idea applies here: scroll if you don’t want to watch it, but pause and click if you’d like to see it full screen.
Don’t worry if you have limited data on your mobile device. At first, it may feel like you’re stuck downloading all these videos and that’s going to eat up all of your data. However, any video that does play on your mobile device will have been auto-downloaded while you were connected to WiFi, and only while you were connected to WiFi. So if you’ve been on 3 or 4G for a few days, you won’t see any videos at all. Facebook does download these videos in large batches, however, so in the future don’t be surprised to see a video or two playing on your feed if you haven’t connected to WiFi in a week.
Facebook video ads are here to stay, so you’ll have plenty of time to decide whether you’d like your company to run a campaign or not.