Ok, I'm convinced. This company is a short to zero. Why?
TV commercials that automatically play could soon hit Facebook’s news feed. This week Facebook VP of Business David Fischer admitted auto-play video ads might be distracting, but said “I believe there are ways we could do it.” Fischer said during his Stanford Future Of Media Conference keynote that he admired YouTube’s video ads. But auto-play video spots could be flashy and annoying in the quiet news feed.
We put up with them on YouTube but when you go to YouTube you're looking for video content in the first place. And even so, the "quick skip" feature that YouTube permits on some, but not all of their ads, does in fact get me to close a material percentage of the videos before I watch them anyway.
It's even worse on so-called "mainstream" media sites where these sorts of video advertisements in front of desired content are almost-certain to draw either an immediate close (meaning I abandon watching at all) or I'll mute or hide the window, killing the ability to sell me whatever.
The distraction and intrusive nature of these things is bad enough.
But it gets much worse.
Video takes up a lot of bandwidth. And if Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) starts running these things over their mobile feeds they're going to begin to consume material parts of people's data budgets for which they pay.
It's bad enough to have advertising shoved in your face -- it's quite a bit worse when it is effectively a collect call that you cannot refuse to pay for. That this is being actively considered tells me that the company is facing desperation-level trouble with revenue.
If they implement it I expect that in the fullness of time it will destroy their business.
Oh, and if you're a blogger or other site on the internet and think you're getting links back to your pages? Better check your statistics, because they probably look like mine:
So you think "Facebook" helps drive customers to your site eh?
Disclosure: No position, but I may have to initiate one. Guess which way?