Facebook walks line between video ads, annoying users

Summary:Welcome to the conundrum that can be Facebook: How do you get more money out of advertisers and chief marketing officers and keep users engaged and happy?

Facebook's move to launch autoplaying video ads in your news feed is a nice move for marketers and shareholders. What remains to be seen is how customers digest marketing videos in their news feeds.

facebook video ad 1

Welcome to the conundrum that can be Facebook: How do you rev up monetization and keep users engaged and happy? Facebook's video ad test goes like this:

  • A small portion of users will see autoplaying video ads as they appear without sounds. 
  • You click and sound plays.
  • At the end of the video marketers can hit you up with more video if interested. 
  • Mobile videos will play but only when connected to Wi-Fi and downloaded.

Add it up and this video ad test is the art of compromise. Facebook acknowledges that autoplaying sound with video can be a pain and doesn't want a situation where it kills your mobile data plan. Overall, it's a nice move that can net Facebook more premium advertising revenue.

Previously:  Facebook to fill your news feed with video adverts  |  Facebook's monetization train rolls along with strong Q3

Here's where things get tricky: Facebook video ads will appear on your individual pages and personal accounts. That move strategically makes sense because Facebook wants all your data as well as how you react to certain videos. You can prevent the videos from playing if you keep scrolling down the page. Rest assured, Facebook will be tracking scroll speed as an ad metric.

I'm going to bet that there's going to be a gulf between how users react to the test vs. when the video ads are fully rolled out. In many respects, Facebook ads are already cluttering the page. Introduce videos fully and there's only more clutter to scroll through. Facebook has a right to make more money and tap into the lucrative video market, but customers also have the right to resist.

facebook video ad 2

 

On the surface, Facebook appears to have thought this move through more than usual. The metrics in future quarters should be fun to watch, but given how Facebook navigated mobile well it's a safe bet the social networking giant will figure out video advertising too.

Topics: Social Enterprise, CXO

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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