Facebook has rolled out testing for auto-play videos on its mobile network in preparation for future video-based advertising.
A small portion of U.S. users are subject to the testing, Facebook announced Thursday. The social network plans to integrate video ads into its site over the next couple of years, it announced a few months ago.
Facebook’s plan is to rake in a hefty sum of cash – between $1 million and $2.4 million in exchange for each 15 second ad slot on users’ newsfeeds. Although the ads will play automatically, they will be silent unless the user clicks on the ad. It will then expand and start over with volume, says Facebook.
During the current test phase, videos posted by individual users, musicians or by verified celebrity fan pages will play automatically.
The idea of video advertising has caught the attention of investors, as Facebook stock value rose to $45.62 – its highest yet – on Thursday, reports the Toronto Sun.
“Because bringing video to life in a feed is something that’s going to really change the way users’ experience Facebook … we wanted to sort of tread water lightly and start with this and see how it goes,” said Facebook spokeswoman Momo Zhou in the Sun’s report.
Zhou added that Facebook doesn’t anticipate auto-play videos to affect battery, data usage or monthly bills for mobile users. The testing phase will gauge response from users, however, so time will tell if this rings true.
The auto-play feature will work on both Android and Apple iOS Smartphones.
Rumors circulating around the Internet suggest Facebook may integrate its video-ad feature in the U.S. as early as 2014. Analysts predict it may rake in an estimated $1 billion in its first year.
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