Facebook to Launch Autoplay Video Ads in Messenger

Users of Facebook Inc. (FB), the world’s largest social media network, will soon see video advertisements inside their chat application. The company confirmed the development Tuesday, according to the technology portal CNET.

Last July, the social media company launched ads inside the dedicated messaging app. The launch of video ads is seen as an extension to the earlier effort, allowing the company to better capitalize it huge user base. The autoplaying video ads will appear in the "sponsored" section and will use the same user-targeting strategies found on Facebook and Instagram using an auction-based model. They will automatically start playing as the user scrolls through messages.

Autoplaying video ads have emerged as a USP for various social media platforms offering improved user engagement and better returns for the advertisers. Compared to the standard text and image ads that appear passive and static to the user, video ads add the much needed dynamic and vibrant zing to improve user experience and engagement. Facebook has earlier reported that an estimated 1.2 billion global users actively use its Messenger service, and such ads will allow the company to cash in on the engaged audience.

Honoring Users’ Preferences

Video ads will be introduced in a phased manner. "We will be rolling out video ads gradually and thoughtfully," a Facebook spokeswoman said. "People that use Messenger each month are our top priority and they will remain in control of their experience." (See also: How Does Facebook Make Money?)

Following the Cambridge Analytica scandal and congressional questioning aimed at Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg about how the social media giant uses its trove of user data to serve targeted ads, the company has announced plans to launch a variety of measures to honor users’ privacy and prevent misuse of data. Last week, the company announced that it will actively monitor the targeted advertising on its platform starting in July, and users will be allowed to opt out of certain ads and campaigns depending upon their respective preferences. Facebook will apply the same principle to ads served within the Messenger app. While one cannot completely opt out of the ads from the free platform and its various services, they can get rid of the ads selectively.

Opinions vary among the industry and users about the launch of such ads. Many see it as another invasion to their privacy, while the company justifies it by offering the ability to opt out of certain ads and remaining a free service. No information was shared by Facebook about user feedback received for the earlier launch of Messenger ads. (See also: You Can Now Play Games in Facebook Messenger.)

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