As you scroll through your Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) News Feed, you may be noticing a growing number of autoplay videos. This is not an accident. Autoplay video ads are a part of what increasingly looks like the social network's next big move: a bet on video marketing. Autoplay video ads began with user videos, and it has now spread to advertisements. As of Wednesday, autoplay video ads are now available in every single ad format. Suffice it to say, whether you like them or not, Facebook video ads look like they are here to stay.
Autoplay video ads have gone mobile
"This holiday season and moving forward, when eligible, video mobile app ads will play automatically in News Feed," read a post in the official Facebook for Business blog this week. "Additionally, advertisers are now able to purchase mobile app ads with video creative through Power Editor."
The addition of autoplay video ads to the app is another sign that Facebook is taking video ads very seriously.
One of the key concerns investors may have about the growing use of autoplay video ads, and video ads in general, is obviously whether they're turning consumers sour on the brand. Unsurprisingly, this exact concern was brought up during Facebook's most recent earnings call.
To which Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg responded, "We're pleased with the consumer response we've had."
But it's probably going to take a longer period of time to measure how Facebook users generally feel about autoplay video ads -- and Facebook recognizes this. The social network emphasized during its Q3 earnings call that it wants to be slow and deliberate about rolling out both video ads and autoplay video ads.
We really believe in going slow. That as we grow products, we pay attention to the consumer experience. We want the consumer experience always to come first. So although we are very optimistic about the opportunity here, we continue to grow slowly and pay a lot of attention to the quality of the advertising we see.
Notably, users can turn off autoplay video ads in their settings if the feature bugs them. Further, Facebook's algorithms will almost certainly serve up a higher number of autoplay video ads to users who engage with them versus those who rarely or never do.
Sandberg said during the Q3 call that Facebook is "really optimistic over the long run" about video ads because there is a lot of interest from marketers.
Indeed, there are clear advantages to Facebook video ads over TV ads because of the platform's ability to more accurately target relevant audiences. And if reach is the ultimate goal, Facebook has a whopping 864 million daily active users. And, most importantly, video ads on Facebook give marketers a high level of control and instant feedback.
"As more and more people upload, share, and discover video on Facebook, marketers are realizing the value of video at every stage of the buying cycle, from awareness to conversion," Facebook said in its blog post on Wednesday.
Offering a personalized experience, control, rapid feedback, and reach, Facebook looks poised to sway big dollars from marketers. But is Facebook's early success with video ads truly as indicative of how users will respond to the new formats as the company thinks?
Wherever and however Facebook video ads are integrated into the user experience, investors can rest easy that the company will strive to keep the user experience first. But I'm betting this engaging ad format is not only here to stay but will serve as a catalyst for the company's long-term advertising revenue growth.
Daniel Sparks has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Facebook. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.