Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Here’s What a Facebook Video Ad Looks Like

Facebook has been working on a plan to sell video ads for more than a year. Now they are just about here: As The Wall Street Journal reported last night, Facebook is rolling out its first auto-playing video ads this week, for the upcoming movie “Divergent.”

Facebook is describing the ads as a “test,” which makes a bit of sense, since you wouldn’t push a big ad-format rollout at the end of the year. But whatever you call them, and whenever they get here, Facebook users are going to see video ads, whether they like it or not, very soon.

Here’s what they look like:

The most important thing to note: The ads will play automatically as they show up in users’ feeds — both on the desktop and on their phones. But they won’t play with sound unless someone clicks on them.

Here’s how Facebook describes the format to potential advertisers:

  • Rather than having to click or tap on the content, videos will begin to play as they appear on screen — without sound — similar to how they behave when shared by friends now. If you don’t want to watch the video, you can simply scroll past it.
  • If the video is clicked or tapped and played in full screen, the sound for that video will play, as well.
  • At the end of the video, a carousel featuring two additional videos will appear, making it easy to discover more content from the same marketer.
  • On mobile devices, all videos that begin playing as they appear on the screen will have been downloaded in advance when the device was connected to Wi-Fi — meaning this content will not consume data plans, even if you’re not connected to Wi-Fi at the time of playback.

Latest Video

View all videos »

Search »

There was a worry before I started this that I was going to burn every bridge I had. But I realize now that there are some bridges that are worth burning.

— Valleywag editor Sam Biddle