Will Video Ads Wreck the Internet?: Page 2

Facebook is reportedly bringing auto-play ads to your News Feed. That's just the beginning.
Posted December 19, 2012

Mike Elgan

(Page 2 of 2)

Facebook's philosophy appears to be based on the maxim that it's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.

Facebook pushes new privacy, advertising or other envelopes hard. If users rebel, Facebook apologizes quickly and withdraws. If users don't resist, they move forward.

Video ads will no doubt be executed with the same approach. If users hate it, but keep using the network, then Facebook will probably keep the advertising. Eventually, users will get used to the ads.

But if users start defecting, and the pundit criticism is heavy, then they'll apologize and retreat and regroup.

The Coming Video Ad Tsunami

The consensus so far is that Facebook's new video ads will hit the social network in April.

By that time, the current wave of video advertising online will be a tidal wave. Why? Because video ads work.

As information overload and social network fatigue overwhelm users, they gravitate to pictures and video -- especially video.

If you've ever been to a technology trade show, you've seen this phenomenon. Some no-name Chinese vendor will demonstrate their video chip by playing the movie Top Gun on a big TV. Burned out and overwhelmed attendees will stand there like zombies watching the movie. They have no interest in the chip and no interest in the movie. It’s just an escape.

It's the same reason people like to watch TV after a hard day's work: It's actually easier to watch a video than it is to think.

Video content nearly always has pre-roll video advertising -- those ads that play before the content you want to see starts playing. These have gotten longer and more intrusive over the past couple of years. It's not clear if that trend will continue.

AOL recently found in a commissioned study that short videos do a better job of selling products than longer ones.

Still, whether they keep getting longer or start getting shorter, video ads online are definitely going to become more common.

Linkedin recently announced that they accept video advertising on the network. Advertisers must first post their ads on YouTube, then submit the link to the YouTube video into their online ad system.

And we're going to see video ads in tablet and phone apps. For example, a company called YuMe recently announced a tablet-specific ad program.

And video ads will be showing up in other places as well, including video games.

As advertisers rush in to take advantage of the new format, users may grow tired of it. Or they'll accept it.

Either way, it's coming.

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Tags: video, online advertising

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