If you’ve followed this Ads in the Wild column for long, you’ll know that I’m a fan of both sponsored stories and video functionality.

I like sponsored stories not only because they lend social credibility to the ad, but because they take ads from the sidelines and into the newsfeed, which is huge, and one reason that mobile ads perform several times better than regular ads.

And I like video because, well, PEOPLE like video. Ads with either video functionality or with a video “play” button overlayed on the image also routinely outperform regular ads, simply because people like video — it’s what TV was built on ya know.

So here’s where things are about to get very interesting…

Because Facebook is about to take the “in the newsfeed” and Mobile-ready feature of sponsored stories and combine that with full video functionality to create the Facebook equivalent of 15-second TV spots.

Plus, as if that’s not controversial enough, Facebook is also rumored to enable the ads with auto-play (but not auto-sound). So the video will start playing as soon as you scroll up to it in your newsfeed, but without the sound.

All that motion is going to make it tough to ignore — and probably very annoying. We’ll see what kind of backlash it generates.

Personally, I’d vote against the auto-play, but I’m definitely FOR an in-the-newsfeed video functionality, especially if the ad is half-the-length of a regular 30-second spot, and comfortably within the range of most pre-roll ads.

So what can an advertiser do with just 15 seconds?

Well, check out this 15-second spot for Tide Bleach, which would work perfect for Facebook:


Could this be the next big thing in online advertising?

I hope so. But it’s guaranteed to be the next big thing in Facebook Ads!