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Well, it looks like truly desperate times call for MySpace type desperate measures. Over the last few months there have been plenty of rumors about Facebook video ads. Some have predicted pop out ads. A few predicted autoplay. Others said full screen. Well, how about the trifecta? Adage recently updated their research with this bomb, “it’s widely assumed that they’ll be autoplay and presented in a video player that expands beyond the main news-feed real estate to cover the right- and left-hand rails of users’ screens on the desktop version of Facebook.” You might want to read that once again. Full Screen. Autoplay. Pop out.
Does Facebook Really Think This Will Work?
There is plenty of money in video ads. That has been proven time and again with Super Bowl advertisements reaching upwards of $5 million for 30 seconds. TV commercials have been a part of the American culture since well before my days on this planet. It has been accepted that every seven or eight minutes TV viewers are going to have to endure two to three minutes of advertisements. This has never been the case with Facebook or online content consumption.
Thanks to theleek.com for this image.
There has been backlash with YouTube playing five to 30 second ads at the beginning of YouTube videos. These are not pop out nor full screen. The user also has the opportunity to skip the ad if they so desire. That said, Google is a company that always has the end user in mind. We cannot say the same about Facebook and this proves it even more. Lets think about this scenario for a few moments. Here is a real world situation.
I log on to Facebook to check out the latest news in social media and finance. I am sitting in a Caribou Coffee beside the UNC campus in Chapel Hill. Students are diligently studying and there are some business professionals catching up on work. As I open my Facebook page I hop over to another tab to read the latest updates to the Twitter music service. While jumping between tabs my computer starts blaring, “Hey, are you interested in investing your hard earned cash in a high yield CD?” Everyone in Caribou looks over at me. I immediately hit mute on my laptop. I look at all my tabs and notice non of them are playing a video. I minimize all of my tabs and low and behold there is a full screen Facebook ad for Wells Fargo. I shake my head and think about those wonderful MySpace days.
One of the biggest downfalls of MySpace was the random songs and ads that you simply could not stop. I know Facebook is just “shopping” these types of products but if Adage is reporting on it there has to be some legs to the story. In fact, Adage reported back in December of 2012 that Facebook video ads are imminent. How they will implement them remains to be seen.
Facebook Autoplay Pop Out Video Ads Will Affect Users
I have heard time and again that users are not going to leave Facebook unless Facebook does something to force them to leave. I highly doubt most people will drop Facebook because of the full screen video ads. What I do think will happen is users will start to use the social network less. We are already seeing this. Businesses are running away because of EdgeRank and the younger generation is dealing with Facebook fatigue. One of the largest growing demographics on Google Plus happens to be 18 and younger. There is a reason for this.
I find it interesting that Facebook is focusing their video ads on these groups, “women over 30; women under 30; men over 30; and men over 30.” Umm, isn’t that every human being on the planet? I am not a mathematician but…oh, nevermind. Facebook is trying way to hard to pinch pennies out of every single user. This morning Mike Allton wrote a great piece of the Facebook Admin panel change. This quote hits the nail on the head:
“The problem is that Facebook’s revenue model is not working. Too many businesses are investing in Facebook promotions and advertising and seeing little to no return on their investment. But instead of offering more innovative ways to reach fans and create revenue, Facebook is pushing even harder on their failed techniques and methodology.”
It is blatantly obvious that the Facebook revenue model is broken. Well, it is not broken, it was never there. For over a year I have been saying this. Anyone who has made a penny online knows that social media is not the place to generate revenue through ad clicks. As we get closer to June 2013 it should be quite amusing to see how Facebook is going to swing this to their users. Well, in all reality, they probably won’t even tell them.
Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures
If Facebook is such a successful business why do they continue to try to create new products. In the last four months alone we have see:
- Facebook Poke – this was a complete rip off of SnapChat and it has been an utter failure
- Facebook Profile Changes – I think we all know they simply ripped off Google Plus in hopes of putting up bigger ads in a “news feed.”
- Facebook Graph Search – The search engine that wasn’t really a search engine.
- Facebook Home – The Android Launcher which currently has the following user reviews:
I think we can all agree that Facebook is spiraling out of control. On May 14th, 2012 I made this statement, “I personally think this thing is doomed to fail as the IPO is coming when growth has not only slowed but turned negative. Anyone who has invested in tech or growth stocks knows that this is a recipe for disaster.” The truth hurts Zuckerburg, good luck with those pop out, full screen, autoplay video ads.