Facebook plans to unveil a new video-ad product in the first half of next year, most likely plopping video ads into the middle of its news feeds, ad industry sources are saying. Meanwhile, Facebook-owned Instagram has been claiming it's backing away from plans to sell its users' photos.
Advertising Age said the ads are planned for both the desktop and mobile versions of Facebook. They're expected to launch by April at the latest.
The reports say Facebook is leaning toward capping the length of the video ads at 15 seconds, just long enough to annoy users without fully satisfying ad agencies, who generally prefer to buy 30-second spots.
The ads are likely to be "autoplay" -- meaning that they'll start automatically when the Facebook page is loaded. Autoplay ads are generally regarded as annoying and inconvenient, especially for those sneaking a look at Facebook while at work or school.
Writing on the company blog, Systrom said:
"I’m writing this today to let you know we’re listening and to commit to you that we will be doing more to answer your questions, fix any mistakes, and eliminate the confusion....
“To be clear: it is not our intention to sell your photos. We are working on updated language in the terms to make sure this is clear.”
On the other hand, Systrom notes that Instagram "was created to become a business." He didn't mention that Facebook paid $1 billion for the site even though it doesn't have any revenue but he was obviously thinking it.
"Our intention in updating the terms was to communicate that we’d like to experiment with innovative advertising that feels appropriate on Instagram. Instead it was interpreted by many that we were going to sell your photos to others without any compensation," Systrom said. "This is not true and it is our mistake that this language is confusing. To be clear: it is not our intention to sell your photos. We are working on updated language in the terms to make sure this is clear."