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Fearful of Reader Reaction, Facebook Delays Video Ads 120

Posted by timothy
from the because-video-ads-suck dept.
AlistairCharlton writes "Facebook is continuing with plans to launch news feed video adverts, but has faced setbacks with CEO Mark Zuckerberg twice delaying the project amid fears of tainting the user experience. Reports claim Facebook will soon add 15-second video adverts to users' news feeds in a bid to lure big spenders away from traditional television ads and onto the social network." For some reason, video ads bother me little on sites like YouTube (where the content is visual, sound isn't a big surprise, and the ads are usually quickly interruptable), but otherwise they make me cringe and wish for a nuclear-enabled ad blocker.
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Fearful of Reader Reaction, Facebook Delays Video Ads

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  • Except for strange coded messages from our Facebook overlords?
  • I'm going to do it (Score:4, Informative)

    by i kan reed (749298) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @10:18AM (#44446029) Homepage Journal

    I'm going to be the someone smugly pointing out that they don't use Facebook. But seriously, I can't imagine the payoff of using the site is worth the thousands things they do to track you.

    • Wait till you find out how much every other site you're on tracks you, probably forwarding their information to Google and/or Facebook, and possibly Amazon.

      The only way to win is not to play the game.

      • Well, I blocked slashdot's load of google analytics, which tells me they don't bother to track me themselves(unless it's a false flag). So... it's not that bad.

        • I've blocked that as well, but who's to say what Dice does and does not do with our traffic data?

      • If you are alive, then, like it or not, you are in the game. There is only one exit.

      • by Darinbob (1142669)

        Only if you put stuff worth tracking on those other sites. If people are staying away from Facebook then chances are they are not interested in repeating the naive mannerisms of the average Facebook user. Ie, Google+ has no idea where I am really; maybe it can check the IP address and figure out that I'm at my desk, I have turned off every single "automatically upload your photos" option and other stupid cloud stuff, I don't post constantly about what I'm doing, and even when posting to friends I do not p

    • by i kan reed (749298) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @10:19AM (#44446053) Homepage Journal

      Also, this would be a good thread to point out that Dice seems to be intentionally collecting user statistics with the latest poll rather than using it as a basis for discussion.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      yet you comment on slashdot and still get tracked.
      the biggest worth would be selling it to nsa anyways.

      but seriously, abp blocks facebooks ads and youtube ads just fine? and slashdots ads as well.

    • I use facebook. the payoff is it keeps me in touch with a bunch of friends and family of various technical backgrounds. I guess everyone needs to weigh the cost/benefit ratio there. Currently, for me, it's fine. "Features" like these video ads could make me reevaluate that ratio and find facebook unsuitable in the future.
    • I feel that it goes back to the saying regarding you being the product, if you're not paying.

      People don't want to pay, apparently, or just plain don't mind being the product. I don't get that.

      The only social site I've found (just recently) where I don't feel like the product would be app.net - sure, not many people might use it yet, but there's potential. They're working with the github model where there IS a free tier, it's just not as nice as a paid tier - and if you really USE the service, you'll probabl

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 01, 2013 @10:18AM (#44446033)

    Adblockers are your friend. Nothing gets blocked faster than autoplay video ads.

    • by Phusion (58405)

      Yeah, I'm sure we'll all be blocking this shit out once it is deployed. Unfortunately, without a jailbroken or otherwise modified phone/tablet, you wont be able to block them when on a mobile device. Hopefully this will start the ball rolling on a mass exodus to some other network.

      • by Darinbob (1142669)

        Which is why I don't do any of that sort of stuff on a phone. My phone is for phone calls and occasionally checking mail.

      • Adblock Plus works just fine in Firefox mobile.
        • Firefox mobile has too many odd rendering bugs that I just don't see in other browsers like Dolphin or Chrome. It's great to see Adblock Plus works on a mobile (presumably without rooting), but to get system-wide blocking of ads that permeates to apps as well as other browsers, you need to root your phone/tablet which is outside the skillset for most people unfortunately.

  • by invid (163714) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @10:21AM (#44446071) Homepage
    Pity your poor, humble narrator, my brothers. What a horrorshow I am now forced to viddy with my glassies!
  • Haha, what? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    ...CEO Mark Zuckerberg twice delaying the project amid fears of tainting the user experience.

    Too late for that, Zucky. Waaaaaay too late. If it weren't for extensions like F.B. Purity, my wall would be nothing but you fuckers peddling likes to shit my friends like and 'suggesting' friends for me. It's so far out of hand already, it's bananas! God damn I can't wait for Facebook to be dethroned.

  • by RogueWarrior65 (678876) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @10:22AM (#44446087)

    FB doesn't make a dime off of people posting what they had for breakfast. They make money off of ads.
    For my own part, it's allowed me to stay in touch with people from the various chapters of my life. That's what it is to most people. But that doesn't make FB any money.
    FB's iOS app is pretty much useless because of the intrusive ads. They usually fill up the entire screen and I believe some of the postings from my friends are not being displayed in favor of ads in the same way that the postings from friends you rarely interact with aren't displayed in favor of the ones you interact with daily.
    FB must know that more intrusive ads will piss people off. But they still need to make money. Rock? Meet hard place.

    • by csumpi (2258986)

      They make money off of ads.

      ...and from selling your information to other companies, governments, or whoever pays money for it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 01, 2013 @10:24AM (#44446105)

    Pushing unwanted content at users only has one result.

  • Zuckerberg isn't a fucking idiot
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Best joke I've heard all week. There's probably a technical hold-up. Nothing has prevented Facebook from doing anything before, except maybe the SEC.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    FB is about scrolling through short messages, not about pausing and watching stupid-moron videoclip of zero interesting content.

  • Facebook is already using video ads in certain instances. I know, in some Facebook games, you can watch a video ad to receive extra lives or such. The obvious difference is that there is a trade. The user is receiving something in exchange for, at least, letting the video play. Doesn't stop them for switching tabs until the ad is over.
  • ISP Cap (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AnalogDiehard (199128) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @10:39AM (#44446295)
    My ISP has a cap on download. Video ads eat up bandwidth and nudges my usage towards that monthly cap. The day that FB launches video ads, I will no longer patronize FB because it is costing ME $$$, not to mention intruding my limited personal time on the internet.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      It sounds like you probably aren't in the USA. (I'm not aware of any USA companies with downstream caps - I could be wrong.)
      If you aren't in the USA, why in the world are you still using facebook post-Snowden? In fact, even if you are in the USA, why are you still using facebook?

      • It sounds like you probably aren't in the USA. (I'm not aware of any USA companies with downstream caps - I could be wrong.)

        there are several million Americans who have only satellite Internet access.

    • seriously? people still have caps on their home broadband? i can understand usage limits on wireless data but this is just too sad.

      • by Tridus (79566)

        I'm assuming you've never been to Canada. It's entirely normal.

        • no, i've never been outside my country (india) and i was assuming you guys out there would have better broadband than we do :/

          • by sjames (1099)

            Probably someone somewhere does, but the U.S. isn't where I would look for that.

    • by rnturn (11092)

      I don't have a cap imposed by my ISP. Well, at least not based on the measured amount of data my household downloads. It's a law of physics limit imposed by the phone company's hardware and aided by the laws that allow them to lock out other internet providers from their faster lines. As a result, there's only so much time I'll allow for a web page to load before I'm off to another web site. (Make me watch some lame video before taking me to the main content and I'm outta here.) The current crop of ads that

  • My prediction (Score:5, Interesting)

    by korbulon (2792438) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @10:44AM (#44446367)

    (leaving aside the fact that nobody really cares)

    FB is resorting to increasingly intrusive strategies to maintain ad-revenue and that great MBAmerican idea that companies must continue to grow or face heat death ("too infinity and beyond!"), and at some point it will start to drive away users, at which point it will be too late to stop the bleeding no matter what they try, and soon after all that will be left is a handful of grandmothers who didn't get the memo and aimless hordes of rabid beliebers, because that's who FB is really designed for.

    OK, maybe I should rename the subject to "My hope"

    • by Deflagro (187160)

      I'm in business and never understood that either. Perpetual increase can only lead to bad things. Either you become a monopoly and eliminate competition (not legal) or you miss your numbers and tumble into obscurity and death.
      What's so bad about raking in a stable profit of 10 billion a year? Do that consistently and it sounds like you are super successful. To wall street it sounds like you are dying and all investors need to bail. Crazy.

  • by TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @10:46AM (#44446375)

    I look at Facebook twice a year, usually to turn off some annoying notification feature they recently added.

  • get'Facedbook is already stomping the users (uh, the product) left and right, and the mass has been growling. forced video ads that burn up the mobile bandwidth will be the last straw, and get'Facedbook will go down hard if they put that crap into practice.

  • I grudgingly reactivated my FB account a few months ago to stay in touch with family, but the minute I see the first video ad I am actually deleting my account. I HATE those. If I land on a page with a video ad, I immediately close the tab and find my content elsewhere. The exception I make to this is youtube because I'm THERE for video content.
  • I fail to understand how video ads would lure me to facebook.

    Video ads have done a good job of luring me away from broadcast and cable television (except for premium, ad-free channels)

    I have flashblock installed on all my browsers and am very happy with it.

    What is the attraction of video ads for the user?

    • Erh... they can show their potential customers what they want to sell?

      Or are you talking about the value for the product? In that case, none. And that's exactly the reason that Zuckerberg is wary of implementing it, his products might run away.

  • by Tridus (79566) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @11:21AM (#44446909) Homepage

    Aren't videos already click to play in most browsers, in that you have to do something to make them start? How is this supposed to work?

    And if it does, how long before the browser makers respond by not allowing autoplay video?

  • by anyaristow (1448609) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @11:28AM (#44447003)

    This will serve as an announcement for when my co-workers are screwing off on facebook rather than doing their work. Maybe if they can't read facebook all day they'll also not find a constant stream of shit to chat about.

    I like this video ad idea. Make it nice and loud, please. Full-screen and flashing.

    Awesome.

    • by roc97007 (608802)

      If you're surfing the net without the sound turned off or headphones plugged in, you should turn in your slacker card.

      • by Brucelet (1857158)
        Or else you'll end up turning in your company id badge
      • They watch youtube videos while the boss isn't at his desk, which is often, so the sound is on. I didn't even know youtube had video ads.

        Anyway, I'm hoping the facebook ads are unexpected, full-screen and loud, so they'll be caught with the sound still on and be embarrassed to be on facebook all day.

        It'd be even better if they were adult enough to recognize that the company can not dedicate the entire room as an all-day nattering zone, but that's just crazy-talk.

        • by roc97007 (608802)

          > They watch youtube videos while the boss isn't at his desk, which is often, so the sound is on.

          But again, headphones are cheap. Why take the risk of blaring non-work-related sound into the open air when you can enjoy the same experience without the risk?

  • When have they ever given a flying fuck about their customers' opinions on any stupid new thing they do? They aren't launching it because the income projections from it aren't high enough.
  • Video ads (with sound) are the most annoying part of the internet experience, edging out popovers. If they go to that... well, there's always google+. Or email. Remember email? Actually talking to your friends in your own words?

    Alternately, is there a plugin that allows one to conveniently turn the browser's ability to play video on and off?

  • by gestalt_n_pepper (991155) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @11:52AM (#44447267)

    And does it happen before or after they're hired?

    Did it ever occur to any of these web advertising geniuses that we don't *all* have broadband all the time and that their cheery little video missives slow down the browser to the point where you turn it off?

    And if we do have broadband, but we're getting it through a hotspot where we're charged through the nose for going over 2 Gigabyes a month, that just maybe we're going to start avoiding these expensive leech ad pages like the plague?

    Seriously, if your advertising starts costing me money or time, you're shit out of luck. I not only won't buy from you, I'll never see your ad in the first place.

    • You'd be surprised how many "Social Networking Experts" (every publisher has them on staff these days) believes that the site to clone is The Huffington Post. They actually believe that the reason why people visit isn't because it's a mix of populist crap and left-of-center news, the latter of which is lacking in virtually every news source that is associated with the former, but because of all the features that mean that your machine slows to a crawl with fans on full blast every time you visit.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @01:16PM (#44448339)

    Ads are always annoying to the person subjected to them. But there are varying degrees of annoying. A banner is annoying if it's drawing your attention by flashing, but you shrug it off. A popup is annoying and you have to close it. And various others require you to click somewhere to close them or get rid of them, but they're just annoying.

    It stops being annoying and it starts making people really angry if they have to sit and wait. And that's basically what you have to do when using video ads. You have to sit there and wait. Because if you COULD close it easily, it would fail to deliver its message. Think about it: Consider you only get to see 2-3 Seconds of a TV ad. Would you even know what product is being hawked?

    So to make video ads efficient, you not only have to annoy the person seeing it, you have to BORE him. And bored people generally start to think. No, don't come around with "but FB users are too dumb to think", people DO think when they're bored. They are working out a scheme to get rid of their boredom. If they have to click to close something, you're doing something and hence it's not as annoying as sitting there and just waiting.

    And every user can open a new window, open the search engine of his choice and enter "how the FUCK do I get rid of those damn ads on facebook".

    And from this moment on, he does not only block the video ads, he is blocking ALL ads, hence not only not increasing FBs ad revenue but actually DEcreasing it.

    And that's what Zuckerberg is afraid of.

    • A banner is annoying if it's drawing your attention by flashing, but you shrug it off.

      Nope. I have one simple rule: if it moves, kill it with fire.

  • by Animats (122034) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @01:40PM (#44448671) Homepage

    The next step will be video ads where

    • If the ad isn't the front window, the ad pauses and the site dims out, so you can't do anything else on the site until you've watched the ad.
    • If audio is muted, the ad pauses.
    • If the user's camera isn't enabled and isn't showing a human face with some slight movement, the ad pauses.

    Note that the new XBox is fully equipped to do that.

  • Facebook will go the way of Myspace, albeit much more slowly. Society, in general, is going through a faze much like teenagers used to go through with phones. You know, back in the day, when they'd basically spend hours on the phone talking with friends, annoying everyone else in the house. That novelty wore off eventually, and those same teenagers shifted to only using the phone when they needed to. That's what's happening with Facebook.

    I've noticed a marked downturn in usage among my friends in the la

  • Finally, a reason to jailbreak my iOS devices. Facebook integration my arse...
  • I have never watched more than a few seconds of a video ad, just long enough to close the window. If I'm browsing news, and that news content is in the form of a video, I don't go there - because I assume it will have a 15-to-60 lead-in ad. The only possible result is to drive me away from your web page. Now in the case of Facebook, I have an account; but I only log in when they change their privacy options. So it really doesn't matter.

  • I really really really hate video ads.

    I despise them.

    And it's why FB is about to become a dodo - haven't even loaded it on my iPhone5.

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