Facebook’s Latest Move Paves the Way for Autoplay Video Ads

Facebook just took one step closer to running autoplay video ads in the News Feed. This is either great news (if you’re an advertiser) or not-so-great news (if you’re a user).

On Thursday, Facebook began testing autoplay videos on mobile News Feeds to a small group of random users. The company has been inching towards running such ads all year. Originally, the move was reportedly planned for April at the latest, but Facebook has pushed back the date to the fall or later. The latest report pegs the timeframe at October. (As the company often points out, advertisers already run video ads on Facebook; they are just not set to play automatically.)

That timing is plausible in light of Thursday’s announcement. Now, it is technically possible for a brand to load a video onto Facebook directly or via Instagram. The only thing that bars them from doing so is Facebook.

According to Ad Age, the company is trying to persuade advertisers to create original content for the News Feed rather than simply re-running their TV ads (albeit at 15 seconds rather than the standard 30.)

At $1 million to $2.4 million, depending on the placement, creating original content makes sense.

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