Facebook Adds Ads to News Feeds Next Month
LONDON - JULY 10: In this photo illustration a girl browses the social networking site Facebook on July 10, 2007 in London, England. Facebook has been rapidly catching up on MySpace as the premier social networking website and as of July 2007 was the secondmost visited such site on the World Wide Web. Started by 22-year-old Harvard dropout Mark Zuckerberg, the website is responsible for 1% of all internet traffic and is the sixth most visited site in the USA. (Photo Illustration by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Wednesday, Dec 21, 2011 Updated at 12:16 PM PDT
Facebook will launch ads in your personal news feed next month, but you may not notice they are "sponsored stories" until you have already read them.
Basically if a friend of yours likes a page, let's say Dunkin Donuts, then you may see a sponsored story by Dunkin Donuts. There's no way to opt-out of seeing these ads except to remove it as it appears on your feed, according to CNET. Right now you only see these kinds of ads in the right-hand ticker.
A Facebook spokeswoman talked to ClickZ about the new ads:
"You will only see Sponsored Stories in your news feed about your friends or people you are connected to," Annie Ta, Facebook spokesperson, told ClickZ News early this afternoon. "You will never a post from a page you are not a fan of, or from people who are not your friends. . . . We want to be really thoughtful about this, so we'll have a lot of rate limits in place. We hope to show people no more than one Sponsored Story in their News Feeds per day and we'll clearly label the story. They'll also be of the same size and treatment as other stories in News Feed."
We're not sure "thoughtful" is the word we would use for placing ads, but at least it's only one per day. But why do I have the feeling that it will be more than one per day very soon? Oh, yeah, because there's no way to opt out of it.
While some may like the idea
that they're learning more about their friends' habits, we're not sure we want to know every time our friends like Starbuck's, Kohl's or Home Depot. We get that Facebook is trying to monetize their free service (probably more so because of an impending IPO
) but they have been making pretty good money already. Why do they need to disrupt their working model? Our guess is to make more money and be more attractive to investors -- but at the expense of users.