Facebook begins video ad roll out

Facebook will start selling video ads later this week in a move that has been mooted for some time and is the latest attempt to grab a slice of the valuable TV advertising market worth some $66.4 billion [£40.8 billion] in the US alone.

The Wall Street Journal reports people familiar with the matter stated that ads will start appearing on the web and mobile devices from Thursday and that videos will play automatically in users’ news feeds but be muted.

The length of the ads have yet to be announced and one of the first ads to be part of the service is a short teaser for Lions Gate Entertainment’s upcoming film ‘Divergent’, Facebook confirmed.

Video ads that play on mobile devices will be downloaded when a user is connected to Wi-Fi so as to not use the customer’s mobile data.

A pricing structure is yet to be confirmed with Facebook remaining tight-lipped about video ads that could end up netting the company large sums.

“We do not disclose pricing. The goal for this test feature is to be a premium advertising format on Facebook, intended to reach a large audience at specific times,” the company stated.

When the first rumours of Facebook video ads emerged back in August, pricing was predicted to be between $1 million [£615,000] and $2.5 million [£1.5 million] per day for a 15-second video that would give advertisers access to Facebook’s global user base of 1.15 billion members.

There was then a lull between the August rumours and the news in late October that it was delaying a full rollout of the service until 2014 due to worries over how users would react to the new format being rolled out prior to the festive period.