Thursday 20 December 2012

Facebook plans to bring video ads to news feeds

Facebook, it is known, is close to introducing video ads in news feeds in the first half of 2013, as per a report by Ad Age. The social networking giant, reportedly will roll out video ads on the news feeds of its expansive user base, in the desktop version and on Facebook apps on mobiles and tablet devices latest by April. Facebook will be limiting these video ads to 15 seconds, thereby pushing agencies to trim down their 30-second long ads to 15.  In fact, these video ads will be autoplay ads, i.e. will start playing automatically. Executives cited by this report have even gone ahead and indicated that Facebook is debating on whether to have the audio component of the ads play automatically as well.

According to the report, the video ads on the desktop version of Facebook will expand out of the news feed 'into webpage real estate in both the left and right columns -- or rails -- of the screen'. Facebook, reportedly is also working out a way to have these video ads appear distinctly on the mobile apps too; details on this, however remain sketchy at the moment. Further, it has been known that while advertisers will be able to display their video ads to desktop FB users, the company has been pushing for presence in mobile apps as well. It has been holding meetings with ad agencies, wherein it has been showing the product in use on both tablets and mobile phones.

“All of the executives interviewed view the new video ad product as a blatant attempt on Facebook's part to wrest big ad dollars from TV budgets. Ad agencies have plenty of TV spots and increasingly want to extend their reach on the web. But TV-like inventory on the web is scarce, which is why ad rates at places such as Hulu are so high,” reports add further.

At the moment though, a user is able to view the video of an advertiser, if only he or she has 'liked' that advertiser's page on Facebook. But with the new video ads, it is being 'suspected' that advertisers will be able to reach audiences and their friends, irrespective of whether they have 'liked' the advertiser's page on Facebook.

Clearly, interesting things are happening at Facebook. Recently, the social networking giant grabbed headlines, when reports about it launching a Snapchat-like 'self destructing' message app surfaced.

Snapchat became a much used app and became prominent because of its ability to destroy messages within 10 seconds of being sent. A user can send messages that destroy themselves from not only their phones, but the receiver’s phone as well. Snapchat even destroys matter from its own servers. The company even added video capabilities to the app. Clearly, this app became very popular with the youth who used it to exchange messages and photographs.

Facebook too will be looking at implementing similar functions in its chat app, including the capability of deciding the amount of time the message or image remains visible. This move is a part of Facebook’s blitzkrieg addition of features to its apps including standalone ones like Messenger and Camera.

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