When Facebook rolled out auto-playing videos into its users' mobile and desktop news feeds last week, along with a collective groan came the question, 'How long until those videos include adverts?' Five days is the answer. Auto-playing advertisements aren't coming to all Facebook users immediately; it's a test group that is currently receiving them, and the adverts are for Divergent, a film due to be released next year. Given it's a trial run, if the users find it abhorrent enough and say so loudly enough, it's possible that the plans could be shelved. However, Facebook does have to fund itself somehow and this is likely an appealing pitch to marketers.
Much the same as with the auto-playing shared content videos, they'll be soundless until you click on them and you can ignore them by just scolling on by. When you're using a mobile device adverts will still play automatically if you're on a cellular connection but they would have been downloaded the last time that you were connected to wi-fi, which should help to prevent data-gobbling. If you watch a video avert through to the end, two further adverts will appear. This, says Facebook, is to make it 'easy to continue to discover content from the same marketers.' It's the price we pay for something that's 'free'.
(Hedsup to Techcrunch)