In a move aimed at increasing consumer satisfaction and advertiser revenue, Facebook aims to place automated captions over its video ads.
Facebook, like all "free" memberships around the Internet, relies heavily on advertising to remain a top player. In its Q4 2015 earnings report, the company showed that 80 percent of its ad revenue ($4.5 billion) came from mobile advertising alone.
However, the social media company is aware that the average user scrolls through their feed while in the subway or waiting in line at the doctor's office. That is why video ads blasting out sound the second you reach them are frowned upon by consumers.
Facebook has a way to make video ads less intrusive, yet more noticeable.
The company lately announced that it will add a number of features, including automated captions for videos.
It was no easy task, either. Facebook's employees had to transcribe more than 50,000 video ads in order to better code the captioning tool. To make sure that the captions are accurate, advertisers will get to edit and review them before posting the video ads.
According to the company, most users look at videos with the sound turned off. Surveys also show that as much as 80 percent of users react with hostility towards the advertiser when videos start playing loud noises in their feed, out of the blue.
"Advertisers should take this into account when creating video ads, making sure their stories don't require sound to communicate their message," Facebook's official blog reads.
The company explains that a whopping 41 percent of videos were impossible to understand in the absence of sound.
On the other hand, captions could reveal the essence of a video while your feed remains silent. Facebook points out that users tend to pay more attention to videos that have captions, according to an insider study. That is why it is recommended for ad creators to place logos, captions and products in their ads, especially in the first seconds.
A study done by Fors-Marsh has discovered that users remember the news feed's content even after being exposed to it for a quarter of a second. A distinct study underlines that keeping users engaged in the video massively increases recall rates: they jump to 47 percent after three seconds of viewing and to 74 percent after 10 seconds.
After its Q3 results last year, the company said that more than 100 million hours of video are being watched on Facebook every day.
Videos are the sweetheart of advertisers, who seem to get more added value out of them, as banner ads are yesterday's fad.
Alongside the caption tool, the company provides new metrics for advertisers. By using them, they can easily keep track of the reach of their commercials.
Facebook drew a bit of flak last year, when the service unveiled that it will lobby ads based on its users' browsing history. However, the social network allows its users to opt out of some of the ads.
It appears that the ad world is shifting its interest towards a more mobile experience. During the Super Bowl, a number of ads seemed crafted with both TV and mobile audiences in mind. Facebook's latest changes aim to bank on the mobile trend and increase ad value for advertisers, without being too intrusive for users.