Recently, there’s been some information shared about Facebook’s upcoming plans to launch a new advertising unit featuring autoplay videos. The autoplay videos essentially take up the user’s entire desktop and force the website visitor to watch the material. These ads are essentially an avenue for the large social network to penetrate some of the larger television advertising budgets. So far, Facebook has pitched the ad space to larger agencies and hopes to garner a few big clients by the summer launch.
Traditionally, autoplay has been frowned upon. At 522, we’ve recommended against autoplay features and instead tend to give users a choice to “opt-in” to video content. In cases where autoplay has been a requirement from our client, we’ve implemented customizations to mute videos when first landing on a webpage. Over the years, we’ve experienced better results with this strategy since video is such an interactive medium.
At first glance, the opportunities presented by these ads seem to be an effective way to answer some of the questions from Facebook investors. However, what impact will these ads have on the overall user experience? Well, we thought we’d highlight four key items to watch as the new autoplay videos are implemented on Facebook this summer.
Ultimately, the four things noted above assume the ads are going to have a negative impact. However, maybe the ads will be effective and provide a huge return on investment for big brands. Maybe studies will show that users reacted in a favorable way and the brands had a chance to reach their target market. As with most digital marketing and video advertising, we probably won’t have a solid conclusion until a sufficient amount of data is collected. In any event, I’m curious to see how these video ads perform over the summer.