Social Media Matters

About this Blog: Kristin Burnham chronicles what matters (and what doesn't) in the world of social networking, Web 2.0 and consumer applications.

Social Media Matters

Facebook Testing Ads You Don't Want in Your News Feed

You have control over your Facebook friends and your privacy settings, but you won't have control over the ads you see in your News Feed. Here's what Facebook is testing and what it could mean for you.

to Facebook |

Ads in your Facebook News Feed aren't new: Earlier this year, Facebook launched Sponsored Stories—ads disguised as posts from a business page that display existing posts or activity that mention the business.

But that appears to be only the beginning. As Facebook continues to face mounting pressure from investors over its slumping stock, the social network is slowly ramping up its advertising efforts.

According to reports, Facebook has started testing a new web and mobile News Feed ad that lets business pages push posts to peoples' News Feeds, even if they didn't subscribe to them. Previously, the only way for advertisers to reach Facebook users who hadn't liked their page was through the sidebar ads or Sponsored Stories.

Facebook says it wants "to be thoughtful" about how it introduces ads in users' News Feeds, so it has "limits in place to ensure that people's News Feeds are not filled with advertising," according to TechCrunch, though it wouldn't give specifics.

While Facebook may indeed set limits to how often you see these ads, just one will be too many for many users' liking. News Feeds have become barely manageable with too much clutter—from annoying game posts to pictures of your friends' babies.

Should Facebook decide to roll out this new ad to all users' News Feeds, it needs to do so carefully. Patience with Facebook is already running out.


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