Facebook: Video ads will appear from next month in Australia and six other countries. Photo: Reuters
Facebook users can expect their feeds to be infiltrated by television-like commercials as the social media giant looks for new sources of revenue.
Facebook has announced its Premium Video Ads will begin running in Australia and six other countries including Britain and Canada.
The 15-second video ads will appear in users' news feeds and play automatically with the sound muted. When clicked, they will fill the screen and the sound will turn on.
Facebook began testing the adverts in December before rolling them out in the US in March with a small group of advertisers. Facebook said the performance of the video ads in the US has been strong, but declined to elaborate.
The ads will roll out from next month in Australia, France, Germany, Brazil, Japan, Canada and Britain.
The company says it will introduce the ads slowly with a limited number of advertisers, though a representative could not confirm how many or which local companies are on board.
"There is huge demand for premium video advertising in Australia," said Will Easton, managing director of Facebook in Australia and New Zealand.
"We'll be working closely with advertisers to deliver high quality video campaigns that create the best possible advertising experience."
The company also announced a suite of tools for marketers to view the number of times their videos were viewed and how long Facebook users watched them for.
The video metrics service will be available for all paid and organic videos and will be rolled out over the coming weeks.
As it did in the US, Facebook is moving cautiously to roll out the auto-play video ads in the new markets to avoid annoying users.
Each ad must pass a quality-control test that Facebook administers in conjunction with video analytics firm Ace Metrix.
Most of the ads will not appear on Facebook's website until September, as the company spends several months working closely with marketers to ensure that the spots meet its quality standards, a Facebook spokesman said.
But he said companies whose ads are deemed acceptable could begin airing them on Facebook in June, in time for the football World Cup, a popular event for brand advertisers.
Video ads, along with ads on the Facebook-owned Instagram photo-sharing app, are among the new businesses analysts believe could turn into important money-makers for Facebook, though the company has said it does not expect video ads to contribute meaningfully to its business this year.
Facebook's ad revenue grew 82 per cent year-on-year to $US2.27 billion in the first quarter.
The price that marketers pay to run a video ad on Facebook is determined by the size of the audience as measured by Nielsen. Marketers can choose specific times of day for their spots and can target ads according to age and gender.
Online video ads, which typically carry much higher rates than other forms of online ads, could help Facebook bolster its ad revenue in international markets where the company's average revenue per user is lower than in the United States and Canada.