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Facebook makes it harder to ignore video ads

Automated captioning will tell you what ads are saying.

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As often as Facebook likes to push video ads, they've been relatively easy to ignore. The sound is usually off until you click, so you can scroll by to whatever you really meant to look at. However, it might be tough to completely gloss over them in the near future -- Facebook is rolling out a tool that automatically captions video ads. Whether or not they appear is up to the advertiser, but the hope is that you'll stop (if ever so briefly) to read what a promo is saying instead of skipping to the next post.

If you're cringing at the thought, you can at least take consolation in knowing that these captions won't arrive in earnest for a while. The tool is reaching marketers over the course of the weeks ahead, and only in US English for now. You'll be safe for a while, folks. As it stands, captions might have an upside (other than allowing the hearing impaired to access what's going on, if they choose): they could reduce the temptation for advertisers to use more distracting custom text in a desperate bid to catch your eye.

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