Skip to main content

Facebook allegedly delays auto-play video ads due to user backlash fears

There are few things on the Internet that make users crazier than changes to Facebook.

With the social networking titan preparing for one of its biggest and most potentially profitable changes to date, auto-play videos ads, we can only imagine what the backlash could be.

Your outrage will have to wait, however, as the company has pushed the launch of the new ad format to 2014, according to AllThingsD.

Facebook initially unveiled the service to advertising partners in December 2012 with hopes of an early- to mid-2013 rollout. However, now the date has been pushed so far that it likely won't happen by year's end.

Allegedly, the reason for this is that Facebook simply knows just how controversial an update this will be to users and needs more time to prepare.

With the ambitious new program, Facebook and advertisers alike seek to leverage the network's massive audience with bigger, more story-driven ads. The dream is to shift from the targeted 'direct response advertising' of the Internet to the broader 'brand advertising' of television.

Before fully ripping off the bandage on auto-play video ads though, it's easy to see how parts of the initiative have been integrated into other recent Facebook additions.

In September, muted auto-play was added to non-ad news feed videos similar to Vine and the video functionality of Facebook's own Instagram. Meanwhile, just last week, mobile app developers gained the ability to add video to their ads on Facebook.

With changes like these, Facebook is bracing users for auto-play video ads. Now it's only a matter of when they finally take the plunge.

A Facebook spokesman said the company does not comment on rumours.