Two interesting mobile news stories this morning from Facebook that can probably be converged into one. First, Facebook will begin testing video ads on Thursday. Second, Facebook has finally launched a “Dislike” button, but only in Facebook Messenger. Not for items in your feed. How do these stories converge? Well, I think it’s obvious.
Facebook in a post overnight, “Testing a New Way to Watch Promoted Video in News Feeds” is telling users and advertisers to get ready for video ads. This comes after recent news that Facebook was allowing video to play automatically in users feeds on mobile. For the moment those video ads play automatically without audio until you click on the video. According to Facebook:
This week, a small number of people will see video ads for the new film ‘Divergent’ begin playing as they come into view in News Feed on mobile and desktop. Here’s how it will work:
- Rather than having to click or tap to play, videos will begin to play as they appear onscreen – without sound – similar to how they behave when shared by friends or verified Pages. If you don’t want to watch the video, you can simply scroll or swipe 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 of two additional videos will appear, making it easy to continue to discover content from the same marketers.
- 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 WiFi – meaning this content will not consume data plans, even if you’re not connected to WiFi at the time of playback.
Some Facebook users will start seeing video ads for the film Divergent, beginning Thursday.
Facebook is also rolling out a long requested feature by some, a Dislike Button, kinda, sorta. This won’t appear as available in your feed. It will be available only as a “sticker” in Facebook Messenger. While users have been able to “Like” posts for some time, they’ve never been able to register any sort of disapproval of a post without leaving a comment. Facebook released a new “sticker pack” on Monday, and one sticker is a thumbs down, the gesture associated with disliking something.
So, regarding that convergence I was speaking about earlier? Could you imagine the number of “Dislikes” Facebook would be counting on new video ads if Facebook included a “Dislike” button? In a way it’s a shame Facebook doesn’t do this because it would be one way of measuring the public’s dissatisfaction with video ads that play automatically, and eventually, once everyone becomes accustomed to that intrusion in their feed, to the products being advertised themselves.
I, for one, would like to see this happen and also see the advertising sales pitch to future video advertisers when they would be told that they can get immediate feedback from their ad telling them customers like or dislike their product.
But then, that would be using this kind of data collection for some actual real measurement that had meaning, now wouldn’t it?