Online video advertisements, those auto-play video clips that start up when you visit various websites, are coming to Facebook.
The 15 second clips are set to start appearing on news feeds towards the end of the year.
No doubt they will be intrusive, largely unwelcomed and various protest groups will spring-up to complain about them – probably on Facebook.
The move is part of the increasing, and inevitable, monetisation of Facebook that followed its floatation on the stock market in 2012.
For brands looking for clever, value for money, ways to deliver key messages to targeted audiences these video advertisements are good news.
For television companies the move is not so good.
Already people are increasingly recording television programmes to watch later when they’ll forward through advertisements.
Furthermore, it’s estimated that nearly 100 million people in the US access Facebook during prime-time television hours.
Meaning a large proportion of the prime-time television audience is not fully engaged anyway – how often do you find yourself watching television and checking Facebook at the same time?
Advertisers may start looking at the format and wondering why they should bother.
The consequences of this are that in the short term essential advertising revenue will likely be diverted away from television companies and into the pockets of the social media giant.
So what can television companies dependant on advertising revenue do to combat this?
Well fast-forwarding through the adverts of your favourite ‘Sky Plussed’ show may soon be a thing of the past.