The Wall Street Journal is reporting that long-rumoured Facebook autoplaying video ads should arrive this week.
The newspaper claims that Facebook will roll out the video ads on both web and mobile devices later this week. Those "people familiar with the matter" claim that Facebook will announce the arrival later today, and then roll out the ads on Thursday.
The rumour suggests that one of the first ads to appear on the site will be from movie studio Lions Gate, which would push short trailers for its upcoming movie Divergent. Previous rumours have suggested that the videos will last for 15 second or so. Incidentally, that neatly aligns with the maximum length of Instagram videos.
All told, how irritating these videos will ultimately depend on how intrusive they are: well-tailored, focussed, silent footage that doesn't get in the way too much might not be too bad. Harsh, loud, jarring and inappropriate video will rightly make people want to throw their phones across the room. If these video do appear this week, let's hope Facebook gets it right. [WSJ via Engadget]
Update: Facebook got in touch to explain that "this is very much a test. We're not launching or selling anything; we're not running ads, per say [SIC]. We're announcing (today) that we're testing with one partner for one day (on Thursday)."