Facebook is hoping that its social network will prove as popular with advertisers as it has with users. The company’s latest plan to wring some revenue out of its more than 1 billion active users is to introduce video ads starting this summer in June or July. There’s a steep price tag attached, however, as Facebook will allegedly be charging $1 million for each 15 second ad.
The news was reported by Ad Age, which cited information from unnamed executives. Facebook has not finalized the format of the ads, but it is expected that they will autoplay and draw attention to themselves by expanding out of the main newsfeed to fill the left and right columns. While the company already has video ads on the site, they don’t currently autoplay or expand.
Facebook is aiming to sell four daily spots, each one aimed at a general demographic: men under thirty, men over thirty, women under thirty, and women over thirty. The ads will initially be confined to Facebook’s website as the company is still trying to figure out how to adapt them to mobile devices. In a token concession to users, the ads will be limited to ensure that a user sees no more than three a day.
An executive told Ad Age that the current high price tag is likely to be a barrier to entry, and businesses may be concerned about backlash from users. That last point is one Facebook should carefully consider. In its quest to turn its popularity into profit, the social network risks alienating users and driving them into the waiting arms of a competitor such as Google+. Facebook has already annoyed many people by planting ads into their newsfeeds and the addition of obnoxious autoplay videos may be the straw that finally breaks the camel’s back.