Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Facebook Sticks Ads into Users' News Feeds, Disguises Them as "Featured Stories"

Facebook Sponsored Ads
It's official, Facebook has begun to add sponsored stories to user's news feeds, just like the social media giant had previously announced. Every sponsored story will have a little indication next to them that notes that this particular story is "featured" and that you do not need to worry about random ads spamming your news feed every day. In addition to that, the only sponsored stories you will see are from products, brands, companies etc... that you have already liked on Facebook.

In addition to ads from pages you liked, however, content from pages your friends have liked may also appear, though advertisers are unable to alter the messages included with that particular content. It has already been reported that Facebook will, at first, limit sponsored stories in the news feed to only one per day and that they will not operate when the social network is accessed on a mobile device.

A lot of people are taking issue with the specific verbage that Facebook is using. TechCrunch notes that the word "featured" does not denote that the content is paid advertising and that any post that has a "featured" label could very well be confused as popular content from other users. It has also been reported that Facebook joined forces with Which Which, a sandwich chain, to test the offering of coupons to users who have liked the restaurant's page.

As of Tuesday over 4,300 of the restaurant's 104,000+ Facebook fans had claimed a coupon for a free 22-ounce beverage with the purchase of a sandwich. It is wondered whether or not this type of coupon distribution will be an option for featured stories in the future. This could work very well for companies on the social media site and some users may even be excited about getting coupons off of Facebook. However, this could also very well turn Facebook from the pure social media and networking site that it is praised for into a social network of spam.

Source: All Facebook: The Unofficial Facebook Resource - Facebook Puts Sponsored Stories Into News Feed And Calls Them Featured Stories

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