Facebook Testing Autoplay Video Ads That Have The Sound Turned On By Default

Image courtesy of ericbeaume

If you scroll through your Facebook newsfeed right now, you might see video ads that start to play, but silently, at least until/if you decide to turn the sound on. But according to a new report, Facebook confirms that it’s testing ads that will blast sound at full volume as soon as you encounter them. Because that’s a pleasant experience.

The social network confirmed an earlier report about testing the new ads in Australia by Mashable. There is some relief in sight if these ads become a real thing, however: users will have to say they’re willing to get ads with sound on.

“We’re running a small test in News Feed where people can choose whether they want to watch videos with sound on from the start,” a Facebook spokesman told AdAge. “For people in this test who do not want sound to play, they can switch it off in Settings or directly on the video itself. This is one of several tests we’re running as we work to improve the video experience for people on Facebook.”

This is exciting for advertisers, of course, because when people leave the sound off on ads as a default, they could be missing messages advertisers want them to hear. That means marketers have to find other ways of reaching customers, like including captions on their ads.

Facebook knows people don’t want the sound on, as well: it issued a report to marketers previously, noting that most people hate it when ads pop up with the sound turned on.

“Our research found that when feed-based mobile video ads play loudly when people aren’t expecting it, 80% react negatively, both toward the platform and the advertiser,” Facebook said in a blog post in February.