Facebook Tests Unsocial Ads In Newsfeeds
Facebook might put advertising in your newsfeed, whether you “Like” it or not
On Tuesday, Facebook started putting advertising in some users’ newsfeeds, regardless of whether they “Like” the brand.
The new feature is being introduced to a small number of testers, but could be rolled out across the social network in the future.
The move is seen as an attempt to strengthen the company’s financial position and reassure investors. Facebook’s shares have lost almost half of their value since the troubled Initial Public Offering in May.
In January, Facebook introduced Sponsored Stories – adverts which appear in a user’s feed if they have already ‘Liked’ the brand page. The number of Sponsored Stories that can invade the newsfeed is limited to one per day, but users are not able to opt out of seeing them.
A study conducted by MyVoucherCodes polled a total of 1,996 Facebook users from across the UK and found that 53 percent think that advertising on the platform is too intrusive.
Under the new plans for sponsored content, users don’t have to become fans or “Like” the business in order to receive marketing messages. What’s even more worrying, the paid content will look like all the other posts in the newsfeed – although they will be labelled “sponsored” in gray letters under the post.
The new system would let firms pay for an ad to be displayed, much like traditional billboard or TV advertising. It follows a similar format to Twitter’s “promoted tweets”.
“We are currently testing a number of ad units in news feed. Starting soon, we are beginning a very small test that will allow marketers to promote Page posts to people beyond their fans in the news feed,” the company told TechCrunch.
“These ads may appear on both desktop and mobile.
“We want to be thoughtful about how we introduce ads in news feed, so we have limits in place to ensure that people’s news feeds are not filled with advertising. This is a small test and we’re constantly gathering feedback from people on how to improve our ad experience.”
Facebook recently came under fire when it was revealed that it provides a platform for over 83 million fake accounts. The figure makes up 8.7 percent of all of Facebook’s 995 million active users. An investigation by the BBC has also questioned the value of “Likes” and social network advertising as a whole.
Meanwhile, the shares of the company continue to slide, closing at $20.44 on Wednesday – a big change from the $38 IPO price.
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