A number of sources have reported that Facebook is set to add automatically-activated video adverts to its site this summer.
In a move that the Financial Times (FT) has hinted to represent an effort to boost its FT ranking, Facebook has been reported by The Daily Telegraph, Digital Spy UK and media website The Drum to be likely to introduce ads of no more than 15 seconds to its users’ news feeds as of this July.
Suggestions are that a video ad will begin playing the first time every day on which Facebook users access their news feed, but they will be silent unless the user opts to activate sound. If they do, the video will start again in all its visible and audible glory.
With global brands like Ford, Coca-Cola, Nestle and American Express among the heaviest advertisers on Facebook, it seems likely that users will be confronted by TV-style, attention-grabbing adverts created on behalf of such companies.
Acknowledging that this could be of irritation to some users, sources suggest that the implementation of the videos will be gradual to prevent an immediate advert bombardment. So far, online reaction to the idea is somewhat mixed, with users taking to Twitter to express their annoyance or their surprise that Facebook has taken this long to consider including video ads.
Facebook has not commented on the rumours as yet, but it would appear to be another example of how it and other social media platforms have become intrinsically linked to website marketing, while also demonstrating the emergence of videos as a tool for search engine optimisation.