Facebook has given advertisers a holiday treat that users probably won't be thrilled by: video ads that play automatically in news feeds, whether they are clicked on or not. The company plans to make the announcement today and get the ads up and running by Thursday on smartphone applications as well as desktops, sources tell the Wall Street Journal. One of the first ads will be a teaser made especially for Facebook for the upcoming movie Divergent.
The move has been a long time coming: Advertisers started producing video ads for Facebook early this year, but the launch of video advertising was delayed amid technical troubles and fears that the ads might irritate Facebook users. Financial considerations appear to have pushed those worries aside—insiders say Facebook plans to charge advertisers $2 million a day for the ads, and they are being rolled out now because it is a time of year when advertisers tend to have plenty of money to spend.