This article was published on December 18, 2012

Facebook ads could become videos soon, with 15 second commercials invading your News Feed

Facebook ads could become videos soon, with 15 second commercials invading your News Feed

Facebook could be adding a new advertising format to its arsenal soon, according to AdAge. Based on what the publication has heard from “several industry executives”, the social network could be bringing video ads to its 1 billion users within the “first half of next year” to generate more revenue.

With the social network making significant changes to is site governance policy recently, the news of this potential ad format is interesting. AdAge is reporting that advertisers will have the opportunity to target video ads to users through its News Feed on both desktop and mobile versions of the service. But perhaps the biggest thing here is the rumor that these ads will play automatically and people can also be targeted regardless of their affinity for the brand. From AdAge:

…several of the executives Ad Age interviewed are suspecting that advertisers will be able to target these video ads to Facebook users whether or not the user or his friends has any relationship on Facebook with the advertiser.

A couple weeks ago, when Facebook had its users vote on a proposal to change the way the site worked and how data was shared, one of the possible outcomes is that Instagram would be receiving user data from Facebook. Now that the proposed changes are becoming a reality, more advertising strategies are being rolled out. So if video ads are being implemented, it’s quite possible that user data could be used to have ads targeted not based on page Likes, but based on content posted to the site.

While Facebook has been trying to keep things pretty “simple” and clean in terms of its UI, it’s hard to also believe that the way that AdAge is reporting is the way it’s going to go:

On the desktop version of Facebook, the video ads are expected to grab a user’s attention by expanding out of the news feed into webpage real estate in both the left and right columns — or rails — of the screen. Facebook is also working on a way to ensure that the video ads stand out on the mobile apps as well, though it is unclear how exactly the company will accomplish this.

Bringing in television advertisers can lead to big money and static advertisements just won’t work for those for agencies representing these media companies. And videos is probably the logical way to go because the social network is one of the top video content properties, according to comScore. With more than 330 million videos on the site, averaging over 21.7 minutes watched, this could be key for those seeking more return on their investment.

Facebook, as a public company, is in need of finding new ways to constantly grow its company and video ads could be another way to do that. Whether users respond well to the new ad format and its targeting remains to be seen.

We’ve contacted Facebook and it declined to comment on the news.

Photo credit: MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images

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