Facebook trials auto-play video in mobile News Feed, ads could follow
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is introducing automatic video playback features into users' mobile News Feed, paving the way for the social media giant to launch mobile video-based advertising efforts.
Facebook video ads will automatically start playing in users' News Feed.
"Now when you see a video in News Feed, it comes to life and starts playing," Facebook Product Manager Kelly Mayes explained. "Videos initially play silently, and if you want you can tap to play with sound in full screen. Scroll past if you don't want to watch." Facebook will initially support videos from individuals (personal Facebook accounts or verified Pages) and musicians. "Over time, we'll continue to explore how to bring this to marketers in the future," Mayes added.
Facebook will roll out the video auto-play functionality to its flagship mobile apps for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android. The company said it will limit tests at the outset, expanding its efforts in the weeks ahead. "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," Facebook spokesperson Momo Zhou told Reuters, adding that internal tests have shown the auto-play ads do not appear to significantly reduce battery life.
Recent media reports indicate Facebook is planning to charge brand marketers between $1 million and $2.4 million to show 15-second auto-play video ads across its social network. According to a recent eMarketer forecast, Facebook will surge from 5.35 percent global mobile ad share in 2012 to 15.8 percent this year, trailing only Google at 53.2 percent. Last month, the social network announced that mobile ads now generate 41 percent of its total revenues, up from 30 percent in the first quarter of this year.
Facebook now boasts 819 million mobile active users, increasing 51 percent over the second quarter of 2012. Mobile daily active users exceed 469 million.
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