Facebook to Launch Video Ads

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Facebook users will have a whole new reason to complain any day now as the social media giant plans to roll out video ads on your Newsfeed. As if your Newsfeed isn’t already cluttered enough with various ads and promotions, Facebook’s new video ads will be 15-second commercials that automatically play as soon as the site is loaded. Thankfully the ads will be muted as a default, but we are not so confident this convenient feature will last for long.

According to Bloomberg, Facebook is planning to charge between $1 million and $2.5 million for each 15-second ad, per day! Prices like that put these Facebook ads on the same level as the most notoriously expensive advertisements in the world, Super Bowl commercials. With the average 30-second commercial costing $4 million during the 2013 Super Bowl, Facebook’s pricing seems to be right on track. Is your Newsfeed as valuable to marketers as the Super Bowl? According to Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandburg, with Facebook getting 3 times the viewership of the Super Bowl, EVERY DAY, it most certainly is. Now are you and your friends going to gather around your Newsfeed in anticipation for clever ads like on Super Bowl Sunday? We would think not. However, with the sheer numbers advantage alone, Facebook has a lot to offer its future advertising clients. 

Like any change on Facebook, there is sure to be complaints from its users. We think these video ads will create a larger backlash than normal, primarily depending on how annoying and intrusive Facebook allows these ads to be. However, like all the other changes Facebook has gone through over the years, give it a little bit of time, and most users will eventually accept it as normal.

Is this the right move for Facebook? With growing discontent among its users, we think it is dangerous for Facebook to continually hurt the user experience it has prided itself on since day one. However, on the other hand, we can see how saying no to the profit Facebook will see off these ads would be hard for any capitalistic company. Only time will tell if the monetary gains outweigh the potential loss in users due to this advertising decision.

-Mike & Samantha

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