After a few months of testing on a handful of unlucky souls, that hated scourge of Internet browsing — the dreaded video ad — will soon be making its debut in the news feeds of all Facebook users, the company announced today.
Facebook began testing the 15-second autoplay spots — which they dub “Premium Video,” as if it’s something you’d actually want to look at — back in December. And apparently not enough people smashed their computer screens in anger, because the unwanted ads will be now be worming their way in between all those baby photos, conspiracy theories, and “this is what I ate for lunch” updates you skim over without reading.
“Premium Video Ads are designed for advertisers who want to reach a large audience with high-quality sight, sound and motion,” claims Facebook. “Each 15-second video ad will start playing without sound as it appears on screen and stop if people scroll past. If people tap the video, it will expand into a full-screen view and sound will start. People can expect to begin seeing these new ads over the next few months.”
Facebook, which famously shrugged off traditional advertising for years until it cashed in on a massive IPO and suddenly realized “holy crap, we need to make money off this thing,” claims that video ads — something no one outside of the advertising business appreciates — are “another way of engaging people on Facebook with compelling video experiences.”
Hopefully, users will be compelled to ignore these obnoxious ads.