Following reports that the first autoplay video ads had hit Facebook’s News Feed, the company confirmed the news today in a blog post. Like most of Facebook’s updates, the new feature is being tested on a subset of the site’s users, who should start seeing autoplay commercials for Divergent, an upcoming science fiction film, on their desktops and mobile devices.
Facebook has actually done a pretty good job of keeping autoplay videos from becoming too obtrusive. While promoted commercials do play automatically, they’ll remain muted until you click on one or expand it to full screen. If you’re not interested you can just scroll on by. The company also claims that all mobile videos will be downloaded ahead of time whenever your device is connected to Wi-Fi in an effort to cut down on data usage.
For now, autoplay video ads are a “limited test,” suggesting the company may pull its newest update depending on its initial reception. But a set of recently leaked Facebook documents suggest otherwise, revealing the website’s plans to lure in more advertisers with the promise of increased views. Like it or not, autoplay video ads in your News Feed are here to stay.