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TV commercials that automatically play could soon hit Facebook’s news feed. This week Facebook VP of Business David Fischer admitted auto-play video ads might be distracting, but said “I believe there are ways we could do it.” Fischer said during his Stanford Future Of Media Conference keynote that he admired YouTube’s video ads. But auto-play video spots could be flashy and annoying in the quiet news feed.
At Wednesday’s Future Of Media Keynote with Fischer, Fortune magazine’s senior editor at large Adam Lashinsky opened the conversation about video ads saying Wall Street is clamoring for them. Fischer explained they already exist in one form. Businesses can post videos from their Page and then pay to show them to more people, though those have to be clicked to play. He noted that businesses constantly ask for more attention-grabbing video ad units closer to a home page takeover than a simple news feed story.
Lashinsky then pressed Fischer to cite another web company whose video ads he admired. Fischer squirmed a bit, and from my front row seat in the big Stanford auditorium, I could practically see his internal monologue mulling over whether he was going to complement Facebook’s biggest competitor.
And then he actually gave props to Google. “You know I think YouTube has moved in the right direction by putting more control in the user’s hands, with the five-second TrueView thing,” Fischer responded. He was referring to the YouTube pre-roll video ads that you have to watch for at least five seconds, but can then skip. They’re auto-play ads, but businesses only get charged if users view the whole commercial.