Facebook has announced they will begin testing auto-playing News Feed video ads for a limited number of accounts starting this week.
Facebook has been refining their video experience since September, making it a lot more Instagram-like in the way videos begin playing as you scroll past them without having to click or tap the play button.
They’re bringing this same functionality to advertisers with new video ad units. It’s also worth pointing out users won’t hear any sound from the videos unless they click on the video to expand it. Facebook is doing the best they can to ensure these video ads aren’t disrupting the overall user experience.
This format isn’t intended for every video ad, and is entirely different from promoting a post that contains a video. Facebook explains:
This premium feature is specifically designed for awareness campaigns that are meant to reach a large number of people to increase interest in a brand, product or content, in a short amount of time. Page post video ads can then come into play to sustain the message of this initial campaign over longer time periods, in more targeted ways.
At this time video ad units will be shown from select individuals (personal Facebook accounts or verified Pages), select pages (like those of entertainers and sports organizations), and Summit Entertainment’s content for upcoming film Divergent.
Facebook reiterates several times throughout their announcement that this is an initial, limited test. Future use will be determined based on what Facebook learns from this test.