Coming Soon to Your News Feed: Ads
But tech writers don't think you'll mind too much
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 21, 2011 11:38 AM CST
In this July 6, 2011 file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg smiles during an announcement at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

(Newser) – Ads are coming to your Facebook News Feed next month, but tech writers don’t expect a major backlash from users of the social networking site. Sponsored Stories, the social ads that are currently restricted to the right-hand side of the page, will start appearing in your news feed at a rate of not more than one per day. The stories will all relate to your friends or pages you “like,” such as a friend “liking” a company’s page, playing a game app, or checking in at a business. Reactions:

  • This is basically “the holy grail for advertisers,” writes Josh Constine on TechCrunch, because the ads will appear directly alongside “organic social content”—and will look very similar to that content. Though some users are sure to be “outraged”—there’s no way to opt out of having your activity used in these ads—Constine notes that social ads are much more relevant to users than traditional ads.
  • Facebook probably won’t stop with the News Feed, the CEO of a social-engagement ad firm tells Ad Age. Ultimately, he predicts, the social networking site will deliver similar ads on third-party sites or streaming TV shows. "We really see Facebook becoming the operating system of the internet for ad delivery in the future," he says.
  • This plan is a surefire money-maker for Facebook and a “boon for advertisers,” as Sponsored Stories are sure to have “much higher click-through rates and conversions than units on the side of the page,” writes Brittany Darwell on Inside Facebook. And while some will probably be frustrated by the move, it likely won’t change “how most people use the site.”