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Ben Hollom - Marketing Director, M2 Bespoke

Ben Hollom – Marketing Director, M2 Bespoke

By Ben Hollom

Facebook is considering introducing auto-play video ads in users´ news feed this summer, as it looks for new ways to boost its revenue, the Financial Times reported.

As the online video advertising market is growing rapidly, the most populous social networking site is seeking to take early advantage and attract huge advertisers. The Financial Times claimed that brands of the likes of Coca Cola, Nestle, Ford and Unilever are expected to be among the first to utilise the new option, which is expected to launch in July, although only in a trial phase.

The video ads will be a maximum of 15 seconds in length and will be placed directly in users´ news feed. The first video will start automatically but with the sound off. If users want to hear it, the ad will restart with the sound in place.

The shift of focus towards video was signalled by Facebook´s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg at the company´s first-quarter earnings call, when she said that Facebook was recording very strong results for video in brands´ pages and was working on new ways to utilise it as a format.

While the motivation behind Facebook´s new advertising option is clear, some analysts warn that this might be overkill and may put users off. However, the social site is unlikely to introduce changes that may annoy users, as an audience is more than crucial to successful advertising. Bearing this in mind, it is reasonable to believe that Facebook will launch the option only after extensive testing and analysis.