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Facebook Proposed Video Ads Message

Outline
Message purporting to be from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg claims that the network is considering implementing new video ads that will run automatically every ten minutes and stop people from using Facebook until they are finished running. The message claims that users can share the message to register their opposition to the proposed video ads.

Facebook Video Ads Warning

© Depositphotos.com/ Erik Jongert



Brief Analysis
The claims in the message are nonsense. The message is not from Mark Zuckerburg or anyone else at Facebook. While Facebook is indeed considering implementing video ads, these ads will not stop people from using the site as normal. Nor will they play every ten minutes. And sharing the message is not a way of voting against the implementation of video ads as suggested in the message. The message may be intended as a satirical dig at Facebook's corporate policies.

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Example
Facebook Video Ads Hoax

For those of you that don't know, I'm Mark Zuckerberg, one of the founders of Facebook. We are currently looking into playing video ads as a way to increase the profitability of Facebook. These ads will stop what you are doing every ten minutes and play for anywhere from 15 to 60 seconds. You will then be able to resume what you were doing prior to the ad playing.

I'm sure that a number of people will be against this, so for your sake, we are giving you a say in whether or not these ads will be implemented.

Share this photo if you don't want video ads to play while you're using Facebook!


Detailed Analysis
According to a Facebook driven message which purports to be from none other than Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself, Facebook is thinking about implementing very intrusive auto-play video ads on the network. The message claims that these ads will not only play automatically every ten minutes but will also stop people from actually using Facebook until the videos have finished running, thereby forcing people to watch and wait.



But, claims the message, users who are against the implementation of such an intrusive system can register their disapproval simply by sharing the message.

However, while Facebook is actually looking at implementing a form of video advertising, the above message does not accurately describe these proposed ads and makes absurd claims that have no basis in fact. Firstly, the message is certainly not from Zuckerberg or anyone else at Facebook as claimed. Secondly, the proposed video ads will not play every ten minutes, nor will they stop users from interacting with the network while they run. And, thirdly, even if Facebook management were to ask for user feedback about a proposed change to advertising on the network, they would not do so by instructing users to share a message or photo.

So, what will the proposed ads really be like? In a discussion of the proposal, an April 16 2013 AdAge article notes:

The social network still hasn't finalized the format of the video ads, but it's been shopping the product around to agencies, looking to lock down commitments for the first available slots in June or July, according to three executives briefed on the product.

While the format of the units isn't totally nailed down, 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

The article also notes that the ads are likely to be capped at 15 seconds in length and that the system will ensure that users will see no more than three video ads per day. Many may find that such a system is intrusive enough. But, of course, there is no suggestion that the ads will actually stop people from continuing what they are doing on the network or that the ads will automatically run every ten minutes. In reality, such a highly intrusive implementation would likely equate to corporate suicide.

It seems possible that the message was created as a satirical comment on Facebook's increasing tendency to place profit over user experience. As satire, the message perhaps makes a valid point. The problem is that many users are apparently taking the message literally and are passing it on in the mistaken belief that they are actually voting against an upcoming video ad proposal just by sharing.


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Last updated: April 30, 2013
First published: April 30, 2013
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

References
Facebook Seeks 7-Figure Price Tag for Summer Debut of Video Ads




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