New Overlay Video Player on Facebook Home Page Now Live for All Users

Yesterday, we wrote about a new home page video experience Facebook has recently been testing for playing video ads and Highlights videos more prominently. Today, Facebook says that the feature has been rolled out to all users.

Here’s how it works: when a sponsored video ad (or Highlights video) thumbnail is clicked, a video player pops up over the News Feed, and the rest of the page is grayed out. Users can like or share the video by clicking buttons that appear on mouseover, or exit by clicking anywhere else on the screen. Previously, these videos played in-line on the right side of the Page.

Here’s how the new overlay video player looks:

It’s the first time we’ve seen this kind of advertising experience (or video experience at all) for that matter on the Facebook home page, which Facebook has kept consistently light on advertising since the site began. Videos shared by friends in the News Feed still play in-line.

“The feature you are seeing is not a new Engagement Ad unit, but an improvement on how users will see videos that they click on in the right column of their homepage,” Facebook says.

“Videos in the Engagement Ad as well as the Highlights section on the home page now expand to appear in an overlay over the home page to improve the user experience and make these videos easier to view. As with many of our recent products, we first tested this feature with a small percentage of users and it has now been rolled out to everyone. “

Because Facebook users are seeing videos shared from their friends in the stream, Facebook is a good environment for video ads. It will be interesting to see if Facebook makes future modifications to the new video player to provide more value to advertisers.