Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Facbook Will Be More Annoying in 2013

This just doesn’t bode well.

First on my list of naughty websites for launching intrusive autoplay ads was The Huffington Post. No great loss there, you may argue, but it’s a pain to go into panic mode when an autoplay starts on the rare occasions I want to read something at the Post.
Next came the Los Angeles Times. Again, no great loss, but still a rather annoying thing to deal with for an occasional reader such as myself.

Now this. Facebook says it’s going to roll out 15-second autoplay ads sometime early next year.

For just a taste of how annoying autoplay is, consider this:

I’m on Facebook all the time. So to thik I’m going to have to fight autoplay ads starting sometime next year, well, I’m not too happy about that. I’ve played along with their redesigns because, well, they’re inconsequential. The privacy/terms of use thing? Well, I’m just a Facebook babbler, so I’m not really losing all that much if they want to market every little bit of froth I post. But autoplay? Well, that’s different.

Here’s what AdAge has to say about it:
In what's sure to be a controversial move, the visual component of the Facebook video ads will start playing automatically -- a dynamic known as "autoplay" -- according to two of the executives. Facebook is still debating whether to have the audio component of the ads activated automatically as well, one of these people said.

On the desktop version of Facebook, the video ads are expected to grab a user's attention by expanding out of the news feed into webpage real estate in both the left and right columns -- or rails -- of the screen. Facebook is also working on a way to ensure that the video ads stand out on the mobile apps as well, though it is unclear how exactly the company will accomplish this. (Some details about the video-ad plans remain vague and could change as Facebook gets more feedback from clients.)
Now I appreciate how hard it is on the Internet to make a buck. We’re used to getting things for free, and we’re used to things like AdBlock protecting us from stuff we don’t want to see (I’m excited to see if AdBlock will be able to kill these autoplay ads; I haven’t yet tried THP or the LA Times on a non-AdBlock computer). Facebook is a ripe audience for advertisers – but it’s an audience that’s pretty damn whiny when it comes to things like this, I’m sure. So Facebook will want to pursue the ad revenue, but in a way that doesn’t drive away the audience (or at least the noisy part of that audience that will make a stink about it).

It is annoying, isn’t it?

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