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12/17/2013
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Facebook Launches Video Ads: 4 Facts

Video ads will soon hit your Facebook newsfeed. Here's a look at what this means to you.

Ready or not, here they come: Facebook's long-rumored video ads are set to launch in newsfeeds this week, concluding a three-month test with a small group of users, the social network announced Tuesday. During the ads' trial period, views, likes, shares, and comments on videos increased more than 10%, Facebook reported.

While Facebook said it plans to roll out this capability to more advertisers, it has partnered only with film studio Summit Entertainment and media company Mindshare to launch the first set of video ads, which will promote the upcoming film Divergent. Some users can expect to see the advertisements on both mobile and desktop versions of the social network, it said.

Although Facebook has not confirmed how often you can expect to see video ads or how much it plans to charge advertisers, earlier reports indicated that the lucrative new ad form wouldn't overrun your newsfeed. Facebook will reportedly show you video ads up to three times a day, and charge advertisers between $1 million and $2.5 million a day for slots capped at 15 seconds.

[ Dislike, Sympathize, TMI -- what new Facebook buttons would you add? Read 8 More Facebook Buttons We Want. ]

Here's what you need to know about Facebook video ads.

1. Videos ads will auto-play. Facebook's new video ads will automatically play silently on both desktop and mobile versions if you pause on them while browsing your newsfeed, the social network said. This is similar to how videos play on Facebook-owned Instagram. If you click or tap the video, it will play in full-screen mode with sound. At the end of the video, Facebook will show you a carousel with two more videos, which you can choose to view.

2. You cannot opt out of video ads. While you can't opt out of video ads, you aren't forced to watch them, either. If you find one that doesn't interest you, ignore it by scrolling past it.

3. Other videos will auto-play, too. While Facebook's announcement focused on video ads, you can expect to see other videos uploaded to the social network auto-play, too. These include videos from personal Facebook accounts or verified pages, and pages belonging to entertainers and sports organizations, for example. The same rules apply to these videos: Scroll past them if you don't want to view them, or click to enter full-screen mode to view them with sound.

4. Video ads on mobile won't consume data plans. All videos that begin playing as they appear will have been downloaded in advance when your device was connected to WiFi, the social network said. You won't have to worry about the videos chewing up data, even if you're not connected to WiFi at the time of playback.

To see the video ads in action, click here.

Senior editor Kristin Burnham covers social media, social business, and IT leadership and careers for InformationWeek.com. Contact her at Kristin.Burnham@ubm.com or follow her on Twitter: @kmburnham.

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Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
12/18/2013 | 8:54:35 PM
Re: Pay for Facebook?
I hear people asking for paid versions of Facebook that have no ads all the time. Honestly, they do't bother me all that much. We see ads everywhere we on the Internet, I don't usually think twice about them now. I think as long as the video ads, in particular, aren't overly intrusive, Facebook will continue on its merry way as a free service.
Shane M. O'Neill
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Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
12/18/2013 | 10:23:10 AM
Pay for Facebook?
Does anyone think Facebook will create a premium paid version with no ads? And video ads and other ads are its way of subtly annoying people into moving to a paid version at some point? Personally, I wouldn't pay for Facebook. But Spotify did annoy me into paying up for a premium version so the strategy can work.
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
12/18/2013 | 10:14:42 AM
are video ads really worse?
I get a lot of Facebook ads that don't appeal to me at all. If you can scroll past the video ads without them playing, are they really any worse than the obnoxious diet ads we all already get in our feeds?
PaulS681
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PaulS681,
User Rank: Ninja
12/17/2013 | 8:05:42 PM
Re: Intrusive or not?
Taking the control away from the user and making them put up with video ads is not a good move by facebook. But I guess they figure many will shut them off and I think they are correct. Facebook has proven that it's all about the money and not about user privacy.
PaulS681
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PaulS681,
User Rank: Ninja
12/17/2013 | 8:01:38 PM
intrusive? yes!
I'm thinking facebook uses all that data that we opted not to have them collect but they collected it anyway to tailor video ads to us. Oh that is so nice of them. Facebook is turning off users latley.
Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
12/17/2013 | 6:41:39 PM
Re: Intrusive or not?
I hear this often. As Facebook is a free service, I wonder where and when users will draw the line?
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
12/17/2013 | 4:35:39 PM
Re: Intrusive or not?
Sounds like another reason to avoid Facebook. Any feature that denies control is a feature I want to avoid.
Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
12/17/2013 | 4:22:46 PM
Intrusive or not?
Auto-play videos and video ads may be distracting for some people at first, but I don't think they'll become too intrusive. Readers: What do you think about Facebook's latest ads push?
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