The rumored auto-play ads coming to Facebook that sound like the worst thing in the entire world will pull in somewhere between $1 million or $2.5 million a day, which is enough money that Facebook probably doesn't care how much they will inevitably annoy users. More than six months after we first of this horrifying rumor, more sources have confirmed to Bloomberg's Edmund Lee the video ads are coming very soon to a News Feed near you. "While the social network already allows advertisers to upload videos to their Facebook page and then broadcast them into a user’s news feed, the new service would let marketers buy their way directly into a person’s feed with a 15-second pitch, according to the people." Lee further describes them as "TV-style commercials," which to us translates to inescapable.
Despite how much Internet users dislike intrusive advertising, and how often Facebook has talked up creating advertising that's "ultimately good for the users," the 15-second spots are coming "later this year," according to Lee's sources. And with a price tag like that, who can really blame Facebook, which is in the business of advertising. This is what you get when you don't pay for a product, people: Terrible ads.
Though, even at that dollar amount, Facebook's working hard to make these ads as painless as possible. Users won't see the same spot more than three times in a given day. And Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has pushed back the release date twice waiting for high-definition video and easy-to-use playback features, say sources. If the video looks nice and crisp maybe Facebookers won't notice the giant video takeover of their News Feeds?
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.