Facebook via YouTube
After years of rumors and tests, Facebook on Thursday launched its video advertising inside the News Feed, the newest type of ad unit for the social network to sell to marketers.
Like many Internet video spots, ads will be 15 seconds long. They will automatically play inside of a user’s stream, though without the sound on (much in the way Instagram videos autoplay on mute right now, too). If you tap the ad, it’ll expand to fill the screen and the sound will kick in. Pretty straightforward.
It has been a long time coming. Facebook has been wary of upsetting its user base with the new ad unit, and has been methodical in its tests leading up to the launch. (So methodical, in fact, that the launch has been delayed multiple times.)
And Facebook launched regular autoplaying videos last fall to get a good idea of how we’d respond to that type of thing showing up in the News Feed.
The company even gave us a teaser of what a Facebook video ad would look like last year, rolling out a small test ad for the movie “Divergent” at the time.
To safeguard against crappy ads, Facebook said it’s working with an outside company to make sure you aren’t getting a bunch of lame marketing videos showing up in your feed. Apparently this company, Ace Metrix, can “objectively measure the creative quality of the video in the Facebook environment” by highlighting “meaningfulness, watchability and emotional resonance.” (I have no idea how they purport to objectively measure emotion, but whatever.)
Expect the ads to start showing up in your feed in the coming months.