Facebook has signalled it will become more annoying, by letting The Wall Street Journal know video ads are coming to the social network quite soon now.
The Journal's report says Facebook has been on the cusp of introducing video ads for months now, but has been held back by valiant champion-of-the-users Mark Zuckerberg's insistence that they load in a flash and not annoy users, especially mobile users.
Facebook's development team have reportedly solved those problems to Zuck's satisfaction and 15-seconds-or-shorter ads will begin to appear soon, perhaps in “carousels” of three ads so users can watch more than one spot. The ads won't make a sound, but if users are sufficiently captivated by the content they'll be able to click on the video to restart it with noise. Users will only see video ads once a day.
The Journal says Facebook will offer video ads for $US2m a day, to everyone on Facebook aged between 18 and 54. Global brands are reportedly the target.
That part of the report seems a little odd given that Facebook recently blogged it has 100 million users of its feature phone app. Beaming video ads to users in developing countries where data downloads cost a packet (pardon the pun) won't win the company any Likes.
At the reported $2m a day the video ads would quickly boost Facebook's revenue by around $700m a year (we're assuming no-one wants to advertise on Christmas and not everyone will pay full freight). With The Social Network's most recent results reporting it took in $1.6bn in advertising for the second quarter, video ads would would add over ten per cent to that figure.
Few businesses anywhere, anytime, have the chance to add that kind of revenue at a stroke. If Facebook can do so, positive shareholder reaction may outweigh any backlash from users. ®