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Facebook To Roll Out Autoplay Video Ads In News Feed

Written by: Laurie Cutts, Director of Marketing

Nanigans was featured in the Wall Street Journal article yesterday reporting that Facebook will offer autoplay video advertisements later this week, “We expect video to be more expensive,” says Dan Slagen, senior vice president of marketing for digital-marketing company, “but we’re going to see advertisers willing to pay.” In addition to making Facebook attractive to a larger group of advertisers, the ads will likely be priced higher than traditional display and text ads.”

The world’s largest social network (1.19 billion people) has long been expected to make a move to capture a share of the $66 billion U.S. television advertising market. A recent presentation cited an eMarketer study that predicts time spent on digital will overtake time spent with TV this year and Nielsen data showing Facebook reaches more 18 to 24-year-olds during prime time than the top US TV networks. Facebook will start by working with Lionsgate on ads for their upcoming movie release, “Divergent”.

Facebook plans to offer 15-second spots that will automatically play when they appears in people’s News Feed. Users can click to turn on the sound and play the video in full screen mode. At the end of the video, Facebook will display a carousel featuring two more videos, which they can choose to view. Users who don’t want to watch the video can simply scroll past it.

Advertisers will see the most success by producing content that is specifically tailored to Facebook’s video ads. For those advertisers looking to take advantage of Facebook’s targeted, Super Bowl sized, audience, they should remember that the three aspects of a successful video advertising strategy rely on include:


Advertisers should focus on aesthetics. Use a bold, beautiful image upfront to gain interest, your video content to drive consideration and finally relevancy will determine whether a person will take action, which depends on targeting.


With over a googol targeting options on Facebook, advertisers have access to demographics, device affinities, behaviors, social connections and CRM/email data targeting.


To guarantee your Facebook campaigns scale with confidence, optimize around maturity curves, affinity models and cohort analysis to efficiently track, expand and invest in performance marketing on Facebook.

Facebook mobile ad creative

So how will users react to the new video ads? While autoplay video ads have historically been controversial– think of the YouTube ads you’re forced to watch or the dozens of TV commercials that run every hour. Facebook’s video ads appear to be less annoying and more balanced. What differentiates them from other formats is that the audio doesn’t play unless the video is clicked. Users can also count on Facebook’s sensitivity to the user experience and as with their other ad formats, they will be attentive to limiting ads in the News Feed so users aren’t overwhelmed with branded messages.

Video advertising is clearly an ideal medium for brands looking to interact with Facebook’s massive user base. With its combination of full-screen immersion, customized targeting and the capability for people to take immediate action, Facebook’s video ads offer enormous potential for advertisers. For more on Facebook video ads and their performance, read our case study Facebook Page Post Video Ads in News Feed Drive Engagement.

Facebook® is a registered trademark of Facebook Inc.

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