What’s On

Facebook tests new ways of watching videos as prelude to video ads

Industry sources suggest that Facebook has delayed the launch of its video ads. But the initiative is definitely amongst one of its key priorities. The social networking platform has begun the spadework for video ads last week as it initiated “testing” an easier way to watch videos. According to a company official, at first, this feature will be limited to videos posted by individuals, musicians, and bands. However, over time, Facebook will continue to explore how to bring this to marketers.

The objective of the video testing phase at present is to create the “best possible experience”.

Whether Facebook is the right platform for advertising or not, would continue to be a point of discussion due to the way industry stakeholders view the medium. WPP’s Chief Sir Martin Sorrell in fact has been quoted on saying that Facebook is a branding medium. Given its nature where people use the platform for social conversations, any advertiser who disrupts the conversation, does so on his own peril, according to Mr Sorrell.

The initial reactions for Facebook’s video ads too have been mixed. Some are just looking to see whether the platform will meet any success on a point that most others are still struggling with. Some others solemnly believe that video ads on social platforms that are not intrinsically involved into display, would find it tough to get a user to spend time on advertising.

Videos, in its testing phase, would be seen on News Feed on Facebook, wherein any video seen on News Feed would come to life and start playing. Videos will initially play silently, and if the users want they can tap to play with sound in full screen or scroll past if they don’t want to watch the video.

The idea to test videos before introducing video ads is seen as the right step by various agency heads. This will not only give Facebook reference and data points on the kind of reaction people have towards videos, but also allow it to suggest to advertisers the best way to approach video ads on a social platform.