What's the Latest Development?
According to several advertising industry sources, Facebook is preparing to launch a new feature in the first half of 2013 that will allow them to display video ads on users' news feeds in the desktop version of the software as well as in their tablet and mobile apps. Some of the details that are still being debated include keeping the clips to 15 seconds in length and adding autoplay functionality for the video portion and, possibly, the audio portion. Ideally an ad can be shown up to three times a day across all of an individual user's devices, say the sources.
What's the Big Idea?
The inclusion of video ads represents Facebook's biggest attempt yet to wrest dollars from advertising agencies' television budgets. Currently videos only appear via brand pages that the user, or a friend of the user, has "liked." The sources quoted speculate that "advertisers will be able to target these video ads to Facebook users whether or not the user or his friends has any relationship on Facebook with the advertiser" and note that without this feature, advertisers most likely wouldn't be as interested in the functionality. With it, however, "[t]here could be serious outrage" from users, one source says.
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