Remember last year when advertising started creeping into your news feed? It migrated from Facebook’s sidebar to a more intrusive position right in the middle of your mid-day scroll, between your co-worker’s new baby photos and your sister’s new high score on Candy Crush.
But, apparently Facebook hasn’t seen too much backlash from this strategy. So the next step may seem obvious: video ads in the same coveted in-your-face position.
Facebook has been considering the addition thoroughly, but several concerns have arisen, including pricing, playback options and, of course, whether this next step will annoy the social media conglomerate’s roughly 1.1 billion users.
For example, Facebook estimates that ads will go for about $2 million — putting it at about half the price of recent coveted Super Bowl commercial spots. However, advertisers want a proper 30-second TV commercial slot for that price, while Facebook may be looking at a more reasonable 15-second playback to reflect how users actually interface with the social media site.
When it comes to playback options, Facebook is likely to go with an auto-play feature that immediate starts the video when the user’s screen loads. This may be one of the most controversial moves, depending on how easily and quickly viewers are able to stop the video (if at all). Presumably, options will also include sharing the video, commenting on the video and replaying the video. A side-scroll carousel option to watch other ads from the same brand is reportedly being discussed.
So what about ads creeping into your experience? Are we just used to people talking to us when we click on websites now? Will that make it harder to get away with checking Facebook obsessively at work — or while you’re on the go, waiting in line at the supermarket, just trying to glance at your mobile phone without playing a commercial to everyone else on the checkout line? Facebook currently estimates that viewers will not be subjected to more than one video ad per day to keep complaints down. But even so, many users may find that it’s still one too many. Only time will tell. What do you think?