Facebook’s New Sponsored Stories in Main News Feed

In the delicate balance between maintaining a positive user experience, and garnering income from advertisers, Facebook has recently implemented the gradual insertion of Featured Stories content in the main news feed.

The new Featured Stories posts are sponsored ads which correspond with products the user has already liked, or which their friends have liked, and will initially appear only once per day for each user.

Many users are up in arms about this recent move, citing the potential for a snowball of ads in the News Feed, and the ambiguity of the term Featured which does not implicate ads.

Give Facebook a Break

Facebook Featured Ads in Main News Feed Users utilizing a free service should expect advertisements- you’ll find them on Spotify, Google Product Search, and other popular internet services.

Moreover, Facebook has already been including sponsored advertisements in their stream, as do many social networking sites such as Twitter.

Caution: Inflammable, Flammable substance!

While I do concede that the term Featured can be misleading, advertisements are frequently disguised as content, or identified subtly. Take Google Product Search for example; which includes sponsored ads, in multiple places- and identifies them in teeny, weeny, tiny gray letters, and subtle shading.

Just Filter

Annoyed with the news Featured Stories ads? Take a deep breath, and  filter them out! While this may not be a permanent feature, Facebook users can avoid those pesky ads simply by using the filter feature

Nothing is Free

While Sheryl Crow might claim “Love is free,” there aren’t a whole lot of other things in our society which are. If you’re getting something for free, chances are you’ll be paying for it somewhere.

What do you think about Facebook’s latest advertising update? Do you think it is unfair or misleading?

 

About the AuthorMary Weinstein is the Director of Content at CPC Strategy, and an expert in Retail Search, Google Shopping and Digital Marketing. A NY native, Mary spends her time educating online merchants, hiking and drinking copious amounts of coffee. You can also find her work on SEW, SEMRush, MOZ and Practical Ecommerce. See all posts by this author here.