Facebook Tests News Feed Ads

During Facebook’s recent Q2 earnings call, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “the best type of advertising is a message from a friend.” Until now, advertiser-related posts in Facebook news feeds have been just that – messages that were somehow inspired by a user’s friends liking a brand or interacting in some way with a brand.

Now Facebook is testing a new offering that lets advertisers infiltrate the news feed regardless of whether a friend has interacted with those brands.

“We are beginning a very small test that will allow marketers to promote Page posts to people beyond their fans in the news feed,” stated a Facebook spokesperson in an email sent to ClickZ. “These ads may appear on both desktop and mobile and will look like other Page post ads in news feed with a sponsored label.”

Just a week ago Facebook said it would allow mobile app developers to advertise in mobile news feeds. Before that Sponsored Stories, which require a friend to have mentioned the advertiser on Facebook, were the only ad unit available in Facebook’s mobile app.

Facebook users have already grown accustomed to seeing sponsored posts in their news feeds through the firm’s Story ad units. Facebook clearly is showing caution in trying the new offering in the hopes of avoiding a user backlash against non-friend prompted ads in the news feed. The company is scrambling to better monetize its desktop and mobile platforms to appease investors.

“This is a small test and we’re constantly gathering feedback from people on how to improve our ad experience,” said the spokesperson.

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