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Facebook reportedly bringing 15-second commercials to News Feed

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Facebook Android login screen (stock)
Facebook Android login screen (stock)

Your Facebook News Feed may soon have video ads. According to a report from Bloomberg, the social network is looking to attract valuable advertising dollars by offering marketers an option to purchase 15 second spots to show in users' News Feeds. That's the standard minimum length of time for a television commercial, and it should help companies easily shift some of their ad dollars away from TV and towards the internet. We've heard rumors of Facebook video ads in the past, and it's possible we're now getting closer to launch as more details leak out.

The report says that users would see no more than three of the spots in their feed per day, and sources say that ad campaigns on Facebook would cost anywhere from $1 million to about $2.5 million a day, depending the size of the audience targeted. Corroborating an earlier rumor from AdAge, advertisers would be able to limit ads based on age and gender. It's not clear when Facebook plans to launch the new ads, but it's said that CEO Mark Zuckerberg has "pushed back the start date at least twice" due to fears that the feature would turn off users.

Facebook is said to be pitching the new ad format as an alternative to primetime TV spots, pointing out that millions of eyeballs are on the social network instead of television during those times. For a variety of reasons — including how "viewership" is measured — it's been difficult to transition large marketing budgets from television to the web. By catering directly to TV advertisers in this way, Facebook clearly thinks it can tap a new source of revenue.

In the past, Facebook has offered banner-like ads, and more recently it offered companies a way to pay to promote content posted on their pages. Should the rumors pan out, this would be the first time Facebook's offered video ads.