Facebook Is Testing Autoplay Video Ads

The long-awaited video ads from the social network are finally here, just in time for Christmas.

Facebook's video advertising is here--well, almost. The firm announced that select Facebook users would be seeing a test promo video for the upcoming Lionsgate movie Divergent on both mobile and desktop. And, rather like the dystopian thriller itself, there will be no escape.

Actually, that's not quite true. The ad will start playing without any sound. If you don't want to see it, you can swipe it away. If you do want to see it, you can tap the screen and presto, you get sound. At the end of the video, a carousel will appear with two further videos from the marketeers. And if you're on a cheap data plan, then it's okay, the Facebook video ads won't eat into your monthly amount.

The length of the content has not been divulged, nor has the price tag. Earlier this year, there were reports that Facebook was asking between $1 million and $2.4 million per 15-second spot, although there has been some reluctance by marketeers to jump first, as they prefer to see how users react. Facebook brought video ads to its sister firm, Instagram, two months ago.

The company's COO, Sheryl Sandberg, is of the belief that the mobile advertising market is just as important as that of its televisual counterpart. Following reports of issues with the auto-play ads--they were slow to load--Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg got involved, delaying the ads' launch until the firm's software engineers had solved the problem.

According to an email from a Facebook spokesperson, the test will run only for one day, Thursday.

[Image: Flickr user JamesEverett]

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