Facebook's Autoplay Video App-Install Ads Arrive on Desktop

Ads Eligible to Run in Facebook News Feed and Desktop Right Rail

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Facebook's European headquarters at Hanover Quay in Dublin, Ireland.
Facebook's European headquarters at Hanover Quay in Dublin, Ireland. Credit: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Facebook has been a mobile-first company since 2012. But that doesn't mean it's a mobile-only company. That's why the company is marrying two of its best known ad products -- on desktop.

Last December, Facebook combined its autoplay video ads with its mobile app install ads, so that developers could run trailers promoting their mobile apps to people on Facebook. Now Facebook is extending those ads to desktop.

As with the mobile version, the ads will start playing automatically when they appear in the Facebook news feed, and after the video finishes, an overlay will appear for people to replay the video or install the app.

However, there are some desktop-only features available. The ads can also run in the right rail, which isn't as prized as the news feed but isn't as pricey either. When the ads do run in the right rail, advertisers will be able to include a call to action that will be displayed the entire time the video plays.

The desktop video app install ads seem designed to appeal primarily to desktop app developers, though it's unclear how big of an advertiser base that is. Facebook claims that more than 130,000 new Facebook-connected games launched last year and that 445 million people play Facebook-connected games every month. However both of those stats apply to mobile and desktop games.

Facebook is testing the desktop video app install ads with an undisclosed number of advertisers but plans to expand the roll-out "soon," according to a company blog post.