Report: Facebook auto-play video ads delayed until Fall

Facebook has apparently hit pause on rumored auto-play video ads in the News Feed. Reports from December suggested that sometime this spring, Facebook would start selling video advertisements in its marquee space, but a story in Ad Age notes that Facebook will likely delay this product until the Fall.

Users were understandably enraged upon learning that Facebook might adopt this controversial ad unit. It was reported back in December that the company was still debating whether or not to have the sound automatically play with the video, which would probably lead to fewer time spent on News Feed.

However, it could be a huge boom for Facebook’s bottom line, as reports suggested that these ad units would have roughly the cost of a TV commercial.

Sources told Ad Age that these kinds of ads likely wouldn’t be available until this Fall at the earliest.

Ad Age wrote that the new target date is sometime in or after October:

As of late last year, Facebook was prepping video ads for their debut in the first half of 2013, but the launch was pushed back to the summer. Now it’s unofficially been pushed back until mid-October, according to a source familiar with the product. The given reason is that there are new features Facebook wants to release concurrently with video ads, and they require more software development.

But Facebook sales executives are keen to get the long-awaited product into market and are advocating for the product to be shipped as is and for new features to be added later, according to the source.

As with most Facebook products, it’s very likely that this would not be a global rollout. Facebook could charge quite a bit (Ad Age sources said that the company could gain $1 million for the ad with a specific demographic, and $2.4 million for a video ad that would be pushed out to all U.S. Facebook users), and test it out with select advertisers. If the backlash to the video ads isn’t as severe as Facebook feared, then it could move forward with a wider range.

As users are becoming more weary of advertising in the News Feed, Facebook has worked hard to innovate how it advertises to its users. The company recently streamlined and nixed or combined several of its ad units, so the introduction of an auto-play video ad would be something that Facebook wants to get absolutely perfect, or else the reaction could be severe.

Readers: How do you feel about auto-play video ads in News Feed?

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