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HOAX: Zuckerberg on Facebook Video Ads

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As shared on Facebook, May 5, 2013:
Facebook Video Ads

Netlore Archive: Viral photo attributed to Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook is considering placing video ads on member pages and offers users the opportunity to vote against them by sharing the photo with friends.

Via Facebook

Description: Viral image / Hoax
Circulating since: April 2013
Status: Mostly false (see details below)

Full text:

ATTENTION:

For those of you that don't know, I'm Mark Zuckerberg, one of the founders of Facebook. We are currently looking into playing video ads as a way to increase the profitability of Facebook. These ads will stop what you are doing every ten minutes and play for anywhere from 15 to 60 seconds. You will then be able to resume what you were doing prior to the ad playing.

I'm sure that a number of people will be against this, so for your sake, we are giving you a say in whether or not these ads will be implemented.

Share this photo if you don't want video ads to play while you're using Facebook!


Analysis: This is a hoax. While it's true, according to press reports, that Facebook plans to roll out 15-second video ads on member pages in the near future, as of this writing the company hasn't publicly acknowledged said plans, much less solicited member feedback on them. It should go without saying that if Mark Zuckerberg actually wanted user input on the idea, he wouldn't seek it by launching what is for all practical purposes a chain letter that only offers respondents the option of rejecting it.

Moreover, based on what little information we do have about it, the plan is inaccurately described above. For example, according to the Wall Street Journal the ads will be 15 seconds or less in duration, not 15 to 60 seconds as claimed. Users will only be exposed to one video ad per day, not one every 10 minutes as claimed. Also, it's improbable that the ads will be implemented in such a way as to force users to stop anything else they're doing until an ad finishes playing.

If you're interested in actually expressing your views on video ads — for what it's worth — you can do so via Facebook's feedback page

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Sources and further reading:

Facebook Rolling Out Video Ads to News Feeds
Adweek, 7 May 2013

Facebook Said to Plan to Sell TV-Style Ads for $2.5M Each
Bloomberg.com, 31 July 2013

Facebook, the Most Valuable TV Channel of Them All
Wall Street Journal, 5 August 2013

No Escape from Facebook Video Ads
NBC Bay Area, 6 August 2013

Facebook Moves Cautiously on Video Ads
Wall Street Journal, 8 August 2013


Last updated 01/09/14

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