Have you seen the new video ad unit on Facebook?

Have you noticed videos automatically playing in your Facebook newsfeed lately? Ryan Carter from Parachute Media has, and was so excited, he shared his thoughts.

Over the  past week, he counted the number of different types of content in his feed. On average, 26 out of 30 posts were videos uploaded to FB that auto-play.

“Is Facebook trying something new out? Seems like the average is higher in the evenings than the mornings. It’s not directly from brands but friends sharing them.”

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Facebook started testing autoplay videos back in September 2013. Scroll over a video in your newsfeed and it would start playing without sound. Simply click / tap for audio.

Then in December, they rolled out an ad format to support videos.

Before this feature, photos were the king of engagement. But Facebook’s data now shows a 10% increase in likes and shares on videos since implementing auto-play.

Mind that not all brands have the means to create awesome media, and not all users will sit through playback.

They certainly caught the attention of Ryan Carter, a social media strategist in Nashville, TN:

It looks great! I watched each one of them because the first one is short and a teaser.  Then you slide over and watch the next two that are recaps of last season of night shift I think. Never seen it but it grabbed my attention. Opens my eyes to new ways of telling a story on Facebook. I’ve never heard of Night Shift but I watched each video! It sucks you in, like clicking play on the next recommended video on YouTube.

Facebook is making heavy investments in mobile ads, like we saw at F8 last week.

Have you promoted any videos lately?

Are you seeing increased engagement?


Dennis Yu

About the Author

Dennis Yu

Dennis Yu is the Chief Executive Officer of BlitzMetrics, a digital marketing company that partners with schools to train young adults. Dennis’s program centers around mentorship, helping students grow their expertise to manage social campaigns for enterprise clients like the Golden State Warriors, Nike, and Rosetta Stone.

He’s an internationally recognized lecturer in Facebook Marketing and has spoken in 17 countries, spanning 5 continents, including keynotes at L2E, Gultaggen, and Marketo Summit. Dennis has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, LA Times, National Public Radio, TechCrunch, CNN, Fox News, and CBS Evening News.

He’s a regular contributor for Adweek’s SocialTimes column and has published in Social Media Examiner, Social Media Club, Tweak Your Biz, B2C, Social Fresh, and Heyo. He held leadership positions at Yahoo! and American Airlines and studied Finance and Economics at Southern Methodist University as well as the London School of Economics. He ran collegiate cross-country at SMU and has competed in over 20 marathons including a 70-mile ultramarathon.

Besides being a Facebook data and ad geek, you can find him eating chicken wings or playing Ultimate Frisbee in a city near you.

You can contact him at dennis@blitzmetrics.com