Facebook is one step closer to introducing autoplay video ads on the News Feed.

Last Thursday, Facebook began testing autoplay videos on mobile News Feeds to a small group of users. The company has been tip-toeing closer and closer to running video ads all year. What was thought to originally release in April has now been pushed to the fall or even later. Both AdAge and Mashable speculate that the time frame should be sometime in October, which could put a damper on those who were looking to place video ads just in time for the holiday season.

The pricey 15-second spots have been much anticipated for sometime by many advertisers. What’s making Facebook tread so cautiously is evident: they don’t want to curb enthusiasm for the ads and usage on the platform.

The $2.4 million dollar ads will be costly and spots with original content will be required. The company is urging brands to create Facebook-specific content that is “more social in nature and takes advantage of the platform”.

How it Will Look

The videos will appear on the new feeds of U.S. users on both mobile and desktop devices and play up to three times on the day that they are slotted. The videos will play without audio, unless a user clicks on the ad, in which case the ad will maximize on the screen, allowing users to play up to two additional videos in a horizontal bar that will run at the bottom the video screen.

Advertisers’ Reactions

According to AdAge, advertisers are wary and “gun-shy” on the million-dollar minimums for the new, never-seen-before feature… understandably. Some want to see how well it’s received by users before committing. In addition to purchasing the spot, brands will also have to consider pricey video production services, especially if Facebook will be exercising an internal creative review process intended to maintain quality of the ads shown. The short, 15-second ads might not be required to be of TV-ad quality, but will still need to present clever strategy.

If all goes well for Facebook, videos ads this year could be big – eMarketer projects that “advertisers will spend over $4.1 billion ads this year and $5.7 billion in 2014”.

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