Why 15 Second Commercials on Facebook Are Happening

STORY BY Candace Bryan

Published: April 17, 2013

It has recently come to light that the social media giant Facebook is planning to launch 15-second commercial interruptions to their service, and Facebook users are none too pleased.  Facebook is seizing on this opportunity for the upcoming summer season. And because television shows slow down during summer, Facebook is hoping advertisers will see Facebook as a better alternative for reaching potential buyers than the typical tv slots. For one million dollars each, advertisers will be able to reach targeted demographics with shorts commercials on Facebook three times a day. And Facebook could make up to $4 million daily.
This new offer clashes with the company’s past policy of forbidding full-site ad campaigns. As recently as 2012, Facebook lost business with General Motors when they refused to allow full page advertisements on the site. Mid-use ads seem to be a huge step in the opposite direction, interrupting Facebook time for a commercial slot.
It’s unclear exactly how these videos will work, and whether or not they’ll affect people using Facebook on mobile apps. It’s also still uncertain if any advertisers will be willing to hand over so much cash for the commercials. It could be a risky advertising move, given how infuriated Facebook users will be when having to watch an ad for fifteen seconds interrupts their socializing.
However, I personally feel like people need to stop complaining about ads on Facebook. Facebook is a business that provides people with a service (an extremely convenient service at that). No one complains about commercial interruptions on television, movie previews, or billboards. All those are essentially the same as a Facebook commercial, but since moves and television have been monetized for decades now, we’re used to assuming interruption by ads. So why are people so appalled at the idea of commercials on Facebook?  It seems the only alternative for Facebook would be forced subscription, and I don’t think anybody would be ok with that.
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