By now, it’s a recognised pattern. Every time Facebook ushers in a change that advertisers will welcome, a collective wail of outrage rings out over the interweb. This time, with its introduction of video ads, however, Facebook has faced a slightly different reaction. While some laypeople have had adverse reactions, mostly people in the know are saying that the video ads are – as video ads go – fairly non-intrusive.

Representational image. AP
Representational image. AP

The announcement was made yesterday by Facebook. The behemoth social network announced that from Thursday, video ads would automatically play in your newsfeed. Check out some of the responses on Twitter below:

But users should lift their fingers off their ‘Delete Account’ buttons. All is not lost.

As Robert Hof at Forbes points out, the ads will not be that bad. There won’t be those many video ads, it will be easy to swipe past them, they won’t use up your data and the sound won’t play unless you click for it.

“Facebook could certainly mess this up…But barring a very unlikely complete disaster, video ads are coming to the social network to stay. And despite the annoyance that is endemic to most advertising, the vast majority of you will keep using the social network and even watch enough of the ads to assure that this will be a very big business for Facebook,” says Hof.

Another commentator, Josh Wolford over at, points out that Facebook scores over usual video advertising for the fact that you can skip it entirely with a flick of your thumb.

“With most types of video ads you encounter, the ad itself stands between you and the content you want to see. Want to watch this YouTube video? Here, sit through an ad. Want to watch the second half of that NFL game? Here, sit through 45 thousand ads. “Autoplay” ads, I might add. Many websites employ autoplay video ads that divorce you from the articles for at least 5 seconds or so. The fact that Facebook’s autoplay video ads basically do nothing to separate you from that real content you desire is kind of astounding,” says Wolford.

But of course, if you still aren’t convinced, the good samaritans of the internet are working out ways for you to avoid the ads completely. Matt Peckham over at Time Magazine says that a Flash blocker on your computer should do the trick. If you’re on Chrome, download FlashBlock.

“Facebook’s new video ads support HTML5, so instead of a gray curtain, I see a fixed HTML5 snapshot of the ad, which I can either click to watch or right-click if I want to select and load the Flash version (if you just want to block everything, ClickToFlash lets you disable HTML5 fallback). Either way, the ad is frozen on appearance and control of playback is returned to me, where it belongs,” says Peckham.

Publish date: December 18, 2013 4:53 pm| Modified date: December 18, 2013 4:53 pm

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