If you were to conduct a survey as to what people thought was the webs most annoying and irritating features, no doubt auto play videos would feature prominently alongside ‘pop-ups’.
So the news this week that Facebook is to begin hosting television style online auto play adverts, will be poorly received by the 88 to 100 million users who use the social media platform during prime time television hours. Bloomberg have reported that Facebook’s far reach and large user numbers during peak television hours have prompted Mark Zuckerberg to decide to sell prime-time advertising spots for $2.5 million a day. It Is also reported that Zuckerberg pushed back the decision to introduce TV adverts twice previously, in order fine tune it so that users wouldn’t find it intrusive.
Unlike regular television adverts, Facebook TV adverts will only target gender and age, as opposed to interests or area. This differs slightly than the current advertising model that Facebook uses, which is more targeted at personal interest. The adverts are reported to last up to 15 seconds (the same duration as an Instagram video) and feature in the newsfeed, as opposed to current ad’s, which feature along the side. The percentage of Facebooker’s who use the website as opposed to mobile devices continues to grow, and is now measured at 61%, making it a perfect time to introduce adverts.
The ever-changing social network continues to develop its features, by recently adding hashtags, regularly changing the layout of the news feed and profile page. The introduction of TV-style commercials shows Mark Zuckerberg is further willing to add disruption to its user experience in favour of being an attraction to advertisers.