It was almost exactly a year ago that Stuff first heard that Facebook had designs on video advertisements that would automatically begin playing when users logged into their Facebook accounts. The company has been testing the viability of automatically playing videos since September this year and the first ads will be rolling out to users soon.
The social network still considers the first video ad, which will be a promotional piece for upcoming motion picture Divergent, a test and the process that it will be using isn’t considered final, according to the company. But they have given an explanation of what to expect from auto-play video ads, at least in this instance.
The videos will appear on both Facebook’s mobile and desktop platforms and will begin playing the moment they are in view, though the sound will be muted. According to the company, simply scrolling away from them will terminate playback but clicking on them in one form or another will result in the video’s sound being activated. At the end of the video another two options from the same advertiser will appear, in case you’re the sort that voluntarily looks for advertising in your life.
Those with bandwidth concerns, especially on mobile devices, will only see the video playback if the video was connected to a WiFi signal able to pre-load the advert. Facebook points out that the current test won’t be seen by everyone and that subsequent ads will also be very specifically targeted as well. The announcement page for this trial seems to imply that auto-play video ads are not yet set in stone and could be binned if the reaction to them is negative/unprofitable enough, saying that they will “…determine future uses based on what we learn from this test.”