Facebook walks line between video ads, annoying users

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

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  • Facebook walks line between video ads, annoying users

    Mark Zuckerberg, needs to pull back and think for a moment. The USERS are the ones who make or break his service.

    I for one, would like to have the OPTION to OPT OUT of seeing ads on my pages. Clearly, such OPTIONS would indicate the way the public views such material on social websites.
    Perhaps, Mark can't handle the TRUTH ! People don't want to see AD's on their pages.
    • "....People don't want to see AD's on their pages...."

      Well, yes... but the Facebook pages aren't actually 'theirs'.

      What you've forgotten, or seem to have, is that the paying customer
      for Facebook is the marketing company the ad-makers. Not the person
      whose mugshot is on 'his/her' Facebook page. They're just the product.

      Just like with Google.
      • People are "just the product"...

        The exact reason I left Facebook, and left Huff Post when they tried to force me to rejoin Facebook. It's like going to a steak house when the only meat on the table is off your carcass!
        No thanks.
        An Arizona Independent
        • Well Said!

          I so agree with you, Robertcape!
    • Don't want to see ads?

      Then pay.
      • Then PAY?

        My ISP isn't free.
        So since I pay for my ISP bandwidth, make them ADVERTS pay for that use/abuse.
        You greedy, me greedy.
        • You're missing the point

          I pay for gas, so when I go to a store, everything there should be free, right?

          Your analogy simply doesn't work. Nothing is free (unless your a social leach and even then someone who produces is paying your way).

          As a consumer, you have the right not to consume what you don't want, but your "want" not "right" to have "free" facebook service isn't realistic. Facebook needs to make money. If they don't, there isn't any facebook. Simple as that.

          Econ 101. Schools need to return to teaching.
          • um

            except for the fact video ads use bandwidth when all u were expecting was txt and pictures. so your analogy simply doesnt work.
            If I want to limit my ISP bandwidth use, I dont play videos.
          • Then facebook should be using proper ads then..

            not the bandwidth autoplaying video with sound ones, but the ones with a picture and lets you click on if you want ad. Auto play video ads will only drive people away.
          • You are right about 'Should'...

            but there is not much chance Facebook will EVER do what it SHOULD do. Zuckerberg is too full of himself, and the advertisers and marketeers he is forced to listen too are too greedy and narrow-minded.

            I think you are right, it will drive people away, but I have seen the way marketeers carefully craft their surveys to protect themselves from the unpleasant truth, and I am sure they can do the same thing with the click data to keep themselves from seeing how they are losing customers with such obnoxious advertising 'techniques'.

            Maybe we need to get marketeers into the "pattern movement" so that we can explain to them why starting vidoe ads on a rollover is an "anti-pattern"!
        • People like you are the reason

          that people think Americans are so dumb.
          Jacob VanWagoner
          • and

            hence why you think its ok for cell carriers to double charge for data demanding money for TXT when that is using the data plan
          • Not dumb...

            Just having no self esteem whatsoever. They'll literally do anything you want them to just for a pat on the back.
    • You are the product being sold.

      People dont's get this. Facebook exists to make money. If you don't like it, you're free to cancel your subscription. Oh wait, you don't pay anything. Well, you're free to convince your friends to go back to Myspace. They don't want to? Then maybe write a polite letter to Facebook asking them nicely to not do this. It's the best bet you have.
      • A horrible "truth" surfaces..

        "If you don't like it, you're free to cancel your subscription."
        Unfortunately, too many silly fools have made Facebook and others a central pillar of their life. Actually making friends and writing to them is just beyond their lazy mental ability...
        An Arizona Independent
      • Marky makes enough money.

        Its about greed. FB doesn't NEED to sell video ads - they WANT to try to make more money. They have a right to. I have a right to post some negative comment on every video loaded to my screen, then promptly HIDE (when FB allows me to) and to keep a list of vendors that push trash into my page and CHOOSE never to do business with them.
        • @mggardner, it's not "your" page.

          FB provides a place for you to store digital crap (comments, pictures) and share that crap with your "friends", in exchange for allowing them to direct your attention to their true customers (advertisers).

          BTW, unless you're a FB shareholder, you have no say in how much their CEO makes.
          • Shareholders have a Say?

            Not much of one. Certainly not any more than the Facebook users, since the Board chooses who will be their suggested proxy at the meetings, and most shareholders simply go along with that decision rather than research who would better represent them at the shareholder's meetings.

            And yes, the users DO have some say, though a very limited one: they can use vKontakte instead of Facebook, maximize their privacy settings on Facebook to limit the data Mark Z. gets, or even start Twitter campaigns against the most obnoxious advertisers.

            All these are very limited say, but not much more so than the shareholders have.
      • End subscription?

        Not really, they hold onto and sell anything you ever posted. You leave, they still have the info and now you have no way to even monitor them.
        • Hence why you don't

          Give them anything useful, accurate, or important about you.

          Your own fault if you're too dumb to realize that privacy online isn't really a right, you want it, you gotta do certain things to get it, doesn't matter who gets your information if none of it is real.