Facebook said to launch autoplay video ads in news feed

The social network is rumored to be amping up its video ads by adding in autoplay, audience targeting, and video expansion.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
2 min read

Autoplay video ads may be coming to Facebook's news feed within the next six months, according to AdAge.

These video ads are supposedly scheduled to hit the desktop version of the social network first, then could be rolled out to mobile. According to AdAge, the ads will most likely play 15 seconds, could be targeted to certain users, and may even have an auto-audio function. On the desktop version, the ads are expected to get users' attention by expanding out of the site's news feed into the left and right columns.

Facebook's goal is to attract advertisers that would normally buy TV ads, according to AdAge. The social network already has video ads on the site's sidebar and news feed but they don't have autoplay and don't expand. And, advertisers hadn't really started using the feature until fairly recently.

The social network launched news feed advertising in January, dropping in unsolicited ads from users' fan pages and labeling them "featured." Since then the social network has been developing other types of ad testing -- particularly in mobile, since that's increasingly more important for earning revenue. In June, Facebook began working on a mobile-ad product that uses real-time data based on users' locations, and in August it began testing a feature that drops ads into people's news feeds even though the user or their friends aren't fans of a brand or product.

This news of Facebook's enhanced video ads comes on the heels of LinkedIn embarking on its own video-ad platform. The professional networking site rolled out global video advertising in October, which lets advertisers use their YouTube or other videos to promote their brands.

When contacted by CNET, Facebook said it had no comment on video ads at this time.