Facebook tests auto-play videos

Last updated 10:53 13/09/2013

Relevant offers

Digital Living

What to expect when you're expecting... fibre Secretive billionaire reveals how he toppled Apple in China Facebook is masking our depression, but can it help us get better? How do you know if you're over-doing it on Facebook? British Prime Minister Theresa May calls on social media companies to act Three things Samsung says its Bixby assistant will do that Siri can't How online bullying became an epidemic we're all guilty of It is past time we fully examined the ever-expanding influence of Facebook on our lives What you should think about before buying Apple's cheaper iPad and red iPhone YouTubers claim restrictions targeting gay-themed content

Facebook is testing videos that play automatically on mobile versions of its service, setting the stage to turn the 1.15 billion-member social network into an attractive venue for lucrative, television-like video ads.

The videos will be silent when they appear in a Facebook user's newsfeed, but expand and play the audio when clicked, the company said in a post on its official blog on today.

Only videos posted to Facebook by individual users, celebrities or musicians will have the auto-play function during the test, Facebook said. But it noted that it would "explore how to bring this to marketers in the future."

The test, which involves a small group of US users, is likely to ratchet up expectations for Facebook video ads.

According to several media reports in recent months, Facebook is planning to charge brand marketers US$1 million to US$2.4 million to show 15-second auto-play video ads on its social network.

Facebook's stock set a new all-time high of US$45.62, as investors anticipated new revenue sources such as video ads and ads in its popular Instagram photo-sharing app.

By conducting a small test before selling auto-play ads to advertisers, Facebook will be able to make sure the technology is up to snuff and to gauge users' response.

"Because bringing video to life in a feed is something that's going to really change the way users' experience Facebook ... we wanted to sort of tread water lightly and start with this and see how it goes," said Facebook spokeswoman Momo Zhou.

Auto-play videos will work on Facebook's mobile apps for smartphones running Google's Android software and Apple's iOS software.

In internal tests so far, the auto-play ads did not seem to significantly reduce battery life, Zhou said. The videos stop playing once a user scrolls past them in the newsfeed, she noted, and users have the option of switching off the auto-play feature.

Auto-play will work only with videos that users upload directly to Facebook. Videos from external websites such as YouTube will not work with the auto-play feature in the test.

Facebook does not expect the auto-play videos to have a big impact on smartphone users' wireless data usage and monthly phone bills, Zhou said.

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Comments

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content