Facebook users may find video ads in their newsfeed as soon as July, the Financial Times reports. The social media firm hopes to grab some of the advertising revenue from TV, and open a new revenue stream to appease shareholders.
Sheryl Sandberg has already gone on record as saying mobile advertising is at least as important as TV.
Brands on Facebook’s client council, which include Coca-Cola, Ford, Unilever and Diageo are expected to take part in trials, but the worry is that users may find the experience so disruptive that they stop visiting the site and move to other social networks. According to one report last week, Facebook’s user numbers are already in decline, despite the firm’s numerous attempts to keep its users engaged, on mobile and elsewhere.
Of course, it’s no secret why Facebook is keen on videos: they drive online product sales. According to Joyus founder and ex-Googler Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, people are five times as likely to buy something from a video ad than from a picture on an e-commerce site, and buy five times as often.
The Facebook videos will run silently until the user chooses to activate the sound, which will relaunch the ad from the beginning. How long before Facebook offers an ad-free newsfeed to users–at a price?
Facebook users, how do you feel about seeing video ads in your newsfeed? Did you see this coming? Will brands find video ads work for them, or does more noise for users mean their message will fade into the background?
[Image by Flickr user theanthonyryan]