As men in tin foil caps proclaim the world’s demise on Speaker’s Corner, so too do marketers predict the impending implementation of Facebook video ads.
No one knows when the apocalypse will occur. No one knows when Facebook will kick off the auto-play videos in the News Feed.
Facebook announced the development of video ads back in April and predicted a summer launch. Summer came and went and there were no video ads. Then, right before adopting hashtags, Facebook said that videos would roll out in October.
Well, it’s almost October.
Adage reported that the new unveiling has been pushed back to a TBD release date. The more Facebook pushes it back and the more developers try to explain what’s going on, the less enthused agencies, marketers, and users get.
I know, I know, it’s our job to pull apart every new announcement or piece of news. But the Internet jumps on any update or sentence that Facebook utters.
The idea is that the videos will play silently, but users can activate full screen and audio by clicking on it.
This could be a good thing for advertisers. It gives them the incentive to create videos that users want to click on. Internet users and TV viewers have so much banner blindness and ad blindness that anything perceived as an ad will get ignored. By placing the emphasis on unique videos and quality content, brands could engage with audiences they haven’t yet been able to tap into.
According to Digiday, “[Agency execs] question whether the platform is right for TV-like advertising in the first place.” Facebook needs the backing of major media buyers and agencies that push their clients towards Facebook advertising. Most agency execs want to wait and see how these ads play out – especially with all the delays – rather than encourage clients to become early adopters.
No parents will ever admit that they have an ugly baby. They may say that their baby has a great personality, but they’ll never deny its beauty.
However, one of the men who was leading the Facebook video ads team just called his baby ugly. The Wall Street Journal originally reported that Justin Shaffer, a Facebook project manager, is leaving the company next Wednesday on positive terms. In all likelihood, one of the major players leaving the development team will cause the launch to move further back, or at least take on a different vision than originally planned.
Honestly, this happens all the time. Rarely do products on the shelves look as they were originally planned. The main difference is that Facebook is such a prominent company and it is constantly under a microscope.
Only if and when Facebook launches its video ads will agencies be able to recommend it and bloggers get to report on it. The auto-play must appear before our very eyes. For now, the only question to ask is when?