Facebook had better be careful. A lot of users may find it creepy later this year when, Bloomberg reports, the social network plans to let marketers insert 15-second video ads directly into people’s news feeds. Buyers could target the age and gender of the users who’d find the ads in their feeds the news service says, citing “two people familiar with the matter.” Ads could sell for as much as $2.5M a day depending on how many people watch them. Execs appear to appreciate the possibility of a backlash: CEO Mark Zuckerberg has delayed the plan “at least twice” as he considers ways to minimize user ire over the ads, for example by offering them in high-def and ensuring that people won’t see the same pitch more than three times a day. But the sales opportunity apparently is too lucrative to resist. Advertisers likely will spend nearly $64B in the U.S. this year on TV ads vs $36B on the Internet. That’s why digital powers including Google, Yahoo, and AOL are gunning for TV advertising — including by staging their own NewFront sales pitches to ad buyers as they also gather for television networks’ upfront presentations. Last week Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg told analysts that her company has “a massive and engaged audience around the world that brands can use to build awareness and drive sales. Every night 88 million to 100 million people are actively using Facebook during primetime TV hours in United States alone.” Nielsen has been working with Facebook to come up with ratings for online videos that would be similar to TV ratings.
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