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Facebook Begins Testing Auto-Play Video Ads

Facebook is rolling out its in-stream auto-play video ads to a handful of users this week as the social network looks for new ways to increase its advertising revenue.

The new platform kicks off with video ads for the new film ‘Divergent’ which will be visible in the news feeds of both mobile and desktop users.

“Since September, we’ve been testing a way to make videos more engaging on Facebook, and as a result we’ve seen views, likes, shares and comments increase more than 10 percent,” Facebook said in a newsroom post.

“Marketers will be able to use this new format to tell their stories to a large number of people on Facebook in a short amount of time — with high-quality sight, sound and motion. This approach will continue to improve the quality of ads that you see in news feed.”

Whether users will like the new feature remains up in the air, but marketers are sure to appreciate the potential they will have to get more eyes on their video advertisements.

One good point: users won’t have to worry about being blasted with annoying noise from the autoplay ads. Although videos will begin to play as they appear on a user’s screen, they will play without sound.

If a user does not want to watch a video, they can simply scroll or swipe past it. Those who do wish to view the video, however, can click or tap on it to have it played in full screen with sound.

Facebook is also “thoughtfully” providing additional content to those who do actually click on the ads. After watching a video ad, users will see a carousel of two additional videos “making it easy to continue to discover content from the same marketers.”

Mobile users will not have to worry about the digital content consuming their data plans, Facebook said, adding all clips that begin playing as they pop up on-screen were downloaded when the device was connected to Wi-Fi.

Facebook did not indicate how long it will test the platform, but said it would “continue to refine this new way for brands to tell stories on Facebook to ensure the best experience for people and marketers.”

The social media site said it will inform users if/when the new platform will be rolled out across the entire network.

Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

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