And users won't have a choice over whether they see them: the 15-second spots will be on "autoplay," meaning that they'll run like regular video ads on any other website, starting up whether users like it or not.
The move was expected. Business Insider noted in December that Facebook was considering autoplay video ads. The company believes it can take a significant share of ad money currently being spent on TV by showing advertisers superior return on investment measurement. Facebook is already the second biggest server of online video, after YouTube.
Facebook has previously claimed its logged-in audience is equivalent to three Super Bowls every day — making it the perfect place to launch new movie trailers.
Initially, Facebook users will no more than three ads per day:
In its own version of an upfront marketplace, Facebook is currently selling four daily summer "slots," each targeting a relatively large demographic: women over 30; women under 30; men over 30; and men over 30. The ads will be capped at 15 seconds and frequency capped to ensure that no user sees more than three per day, with an asking price of upwards of $1 million, according to one executive.
They will also be intrusive, Ad Age says:
While the format of the units isn't totally nailed down, it's widely assumed that they'll be autoplay and presented in a video player that expands beyond the main news-feed real estate to cover the right- and left-hand rails of users' screens on the desktop version of Facebook ...
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