Although details are still scarce regarding Facebook’s rumored auto-play video ads, new data from comScore shows that the ad unit can be a viable option for advertisers — assuming they’re executed properly.

Introduced last December, the video ads are expected to be 15 seconds long and will play automatically without sound as soon as the page is opened. Originally slated for spring and then summer, recent reports have said the ads are being delayed another season, but that hasn’t seemed to slow down preparations.

Facebook members in the U.S. are seeing more videos and spending more time watching videos since the beginning of 2013. The latest stats from comScore show that in June, Facebook had 61,646 unique video viewers in the U.S. This figure is down a bit from March (63,821) but higher than January (56,953).

Despite the small dip, this data shows that U.S. Facebook members are becoming used to engaging with videos in the News Feed. The introduction of Vine and Instagram Video are likely helping consumers ease into the transition. Once you take YouTube into account, now it’s almost impossible not to come across a video while browsing the social network.

However, it’s still unknown whether Facebook can put auto-play ads in the News Feed without angering members. The ad unit could be a big moneymaker for the social network, but user backlash is a powerful motivator — see Instagram’s privacy policy debacle for proof. A major concern for marketers is whether fans will turn their negativity to brands instead of the platform.

The social network still hasn’t made any sort of official announcement regarding the availability of video ads. Advertisers are understandably eager to try it, but it’s important to consider how these ads will align with your goals. For now, monitor the response and engagement around your Instagram and Vine videos; although different from auto-play ads, these could give you valuable insight into the type of branded content your audience will tolerate.

[Via: Inside Facebook, Image credit: Randall Degges]