Facebook says auto-play ads are coming to mobile devices

Daniel Bader

December 17, 2013 9:04am

Facebook has a tendency to divide loyalties: few admit they like the service, but most Canadians use it. From Timeline design changes to the way the Feed is integrated with advertisements, everyone has an opinion about the free social network’s path to profitability — it’s unlikely FB will ever charge a monthly fee for its core features — but they’re all made, in the end, to better serve ads.

Today, Facebook is announcing yet another way for advertisers to get rich from the scrolling thumbs of its over one billion monthly users: auto-play videos. Though in testing since September with a small subset of the user base, auto-play ads are being made available to advertisers, and will begin showing up on desktop and mobile feeds as early as this week.

The content will be downloaded in advance over WiFi, so mobile data pools will not be affected, but scrolling past the pre-loaded content will cause it to begin playing with no sound. Tapping on the video will expand it to take up the whole screen and activate the sound. When the video ends, two more will appear in a carousel, similar to the way photos are displayed today in a linear feed.

Whether this will tangibly tarnish the experience of mobile Facebook users remains to be seen, but unlike on Instagram there are already plenty of mobile ads on the service. Auto-play videos are just another way for Facebook to allow advertisers to engage with an expansive and largely sympathetic audience, especially if the ads are targeted to users like static ones are today.

  • J-Ro

    Soon, all of the internet will be as tv was. Only we will not be able to skip commercials with our PVR’s for years to come.

  • Owen Finn

    So you had to use an auto-play ad in the story to demonstrate why everyone should switch to Google+ immediately?

  • Damien Robertson

    I don’t mind adds, I HATE the auto play ones. This actually makes me want to avoid using it.

  • Tommy Crosby

    Facebook is already one of the biggest battery/ram user on phones and they are going to make it worst and waste our bandwidth on top of that (even if you have unlimited internet at home, it still a waste of resources). Genius!

  • Gerhardt

    can they have pr0n ads?

    • J-Ro

      No, that would be too much fun.

  • thatcrazyone

    and thats the day i stop using facebook!

    • VGA Fred

      Yes, maybe this will finally be the straw that helps me break my stupid addiction to that site!

  • mad

    Autoplay ads.. Rip facebook
    the most annoying idea ever!! I personally, immediately close any website that autoplays music or video’s. without my input.. Thankfully im not a facebook user. how much punishment will sheep take before they move along?

  • Savbers

    Well there goes my Facebook account. Bye forever!

  • alphs22

    Uninstalling as soon as this is implemented.

  • sicsicpuppy

    WooHoo ! time to finally delete .

  • Cristian Tane

    So if you’re not using wifi at all, you’re safe? 🙂

    • J-Ro

      It will use data. Because they don’t want a loop hole to hurt the impression count. It will likely take as much data as vine or instagram video in the near future. The first set of video ads are going to be a beta test to see how well they are received and how they can make them stick.

  • MXH070

    Nice! Another reason NOT to use Facebook.

  • beyond

    this is turning into a medium for ads, the social media aspect is getting buried under all this crap they are tossing over it. Pretty soon its going to be all ads all the time, people talking about ads, instead of exchanging pictures, they’ll be exchanging ads with each other, thumbs up to ads! Let’s just look at ads all day and be done with it.

  • skullan

    And, Facebook is now uninstalled….

  • Apocalypso

    More unwanted intrusion from Facebook. Great. I guess I’ll be one of many who will be uninstalling Facebook as soon as this feature is implemented.

  • Farhan Chaudhary

    I would rather pay and get an ad free experience than to have it free and have ads. Ridiculous idea! I hate ads.

  • Wild

    Breaking News: facebook continues to suck.

  • Nytetyme

    As long as there’s an AdBlock filter for it, I’ll be ok with it lol

  • B-Mac

    guess I’ll finally see what Google+ is all about now then….Twitter and Google+ from now on if this crap is coming

  • BetelgeuseOrion

    i dont see a single add on my android in any application with Ad-Away, 🙂

  • Garrett Cooper

    Glad I rarely use FB as it is. But when this starts, it’ll be uninstalled, and I may say screw it and close my account too.

  • AReid

    Bye bye Facebook friends.