Facebook Reveals ‘Premium’ Autoplay Video Ads

Wide array of brands on board for late April release

Those Facebook autoplay video ads—well, call them Premium Video Ads. That’s what the social network just announced it would label the long-anticipated marketing tool that delivers video right into users’ feeds and starts playing 15-second clips automatically.

The spots will start consistently rolling into view during late April, a Facebook rep told Adweek, adding that the digital giant "wanted to create a captive, but not interruptive experience."

To the rep's point, Facebook is testing every video before approving them more widely. The video ads are activated when a user scrolls over them, but there is no sound unless a user clicks them. The experience appears similar to videos on Instagram, the popular sharing app for photos and videos that's owned by Facebook.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based firm declined to name the initial group of video advertisers as well as their agencies. But it said the early set of brand players will represent a wide array of categories.

Autoplay video has been a hot topic in the ad world, which wants higher quality inventory for desktop and mobile. Facebook’s value has not been lost on marketers who covet the prized real estate in its news feed.

Facebook said that it could measure with “99 percent accuracy a campaign’s total audience reach and the amount of times an ad was seen.”

The video ads will include day-parting, a key targeting feature.

Also for this endeavor, Facebook is employing its longstanding Nielsen relationship, so advertisers can measure audiences somewhat similarly to TV. And, Ace Metrix will help Facebook measure ad quality and user engagement.

“We’ll roll out Premium Video Ads slowly and monitor how people interact with them,” Facebook’s product team said in a blog post today. “This limited introduction allows us to concentrate our efforts on a smaller number of advertisers with high-quality campaigns to create the best possible experience on Facebook.”

Summit Entertainment was the first, however, to test the ad product in December with a trailer for the film Divergent.