Facebook Tries Out Autoplay Video With Sound; Google SEO Changes Will Be Bad For Interstitial Ads

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Facebook Hits Unmute

Facebook is testing autoplay video ads with sound on, Mashable reported after Australian users first started seeing (and, uhh, hearing) the spots on Tuesday. Half of the test is more of an active prompt for sound than true autoplay audio, as a user is presented with an icon to turn on sound for that session, said a Facebook spokeswoman in an email to AdExchanger. Others will go straight to audio, with “a pop-up message with education about the new experience and controls.” Facebook took flak from agency buyers when it first rolled out muted video, but the approach has proven durable with media sellers such as Twitter following suit. The problem? Snapchat and some broadcast media sites (like Bloomberg and CNN) have noisy autoplay ads, and Facebook is stuck with a less effective offering.


Mobile Ad Police

Google will drop its search cudgel on publishers that use intrusive mobile interstitial formats, including advertising and other popups. Beginning in 2017, “pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as highly.” This could have the effect of forcing many media sellers to abandon such formats, at least for inbound search visitors. What’s OK? “Banners that use a reasonable amount of screen space and are easily dismissible.” Read the blog post.

Rebate Believer   

The Guardian admitted that it gives agencies rebates in the form of cash and free media in exchange for a certain amount of spend on its properties, Campaign reports. The UK-based publication described the rebates as “critical accounting judgements.” Rebates are calculated based on agency spend across The Guardian’s properties over a given period. Despite the buildup surrounding the ANA’s investigation into nontransparent agency practices and Ebiquity’s subsequent marketer guidelines [AdExchanger coverage], there’s been relatively little blowback. But it’s not surprising that a print publication would have to rely on rebates to meet revenue goals. More.


Pinterest acquired news bookmarking service Instapaper, which will continue to operate as a standalone app. That’s unusual for Pinterest, which has folded many of its recent acquisitions into the Pinterest brand [AdExchanger coverage]. Pinterest will give Instapaper, previously owned by Betaworks, enormous scale to execute on its mission of “allowing our users to discover, save, and experience interesting web content,” the company wrote in a blog post. Instapaper lends Pinterest added expertise in content recommendation as it seeks to join the ranks of Facebook, Google and Snapchat as a platform where users discover news stories. More at The Wall Street Journal.

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