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Autoplay Video Ads on Facebook?

Facebook has undoubtedly had a rough year (Mashable has a great round up as to why), and users are beginning to value it less and less.

Marketers are concentrating so heavily on Facebook because, well, it’s where the people are over a billion of us, anyway (a seventh of the world population, OMG). But in Facebook’s quest to please its new shareholders, some of the changes to Facebook geared toward better ad revenues have impacted the user experience fairly negatively; Edgerank algorithm, for example.

Now, you have no way of knowing if you’ll actually see what your friends are posting.

It’s likely that you’ve also noticed intrusive ads in your feed; this week I’ve had three different car companies pop up in my Facebook stream and I don’t think I’ve mentioned a car on Facebook in the six years I’ve been on there.

But guess what? According to Ad Week, the intrusive ads might get even worse:

By April at the latest, it will offer video advertisers the chance to target video ads to large numbers of Facebook users in their news feeds on both the desktop version of Facebook as well as on Facebook apps on mobile phones and tablets.

It gets worse.

In what’s sure to be a controversial move, the visual component of the Facebook video ads will start playing automatically — a dynamic known as “autoplay” — according to two of the executives. Facebook is still debating whether to have the audio component of the ads activated automatically as well, one of these people said.

I’ve spoken before about the myth of the free internet, but in the case of Facebook which is already using our data as a commodity I’m not sure they’ll be able to hold onto their users if they can’t sneak views of their friend’s updates quietly at work.

What do you think? Do you think Facebook can survive the next phase of monetization?



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