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More ads coming to your Facebook feed

The change may blur the line between what's personal and what's a paid promotion in your feed.

By MSN Money Partner Jan 12, 2012 2:36PM

This post comes from Seth Fiegerman at partner site MainStreet.

 

MainStreet on MSN MoneyYour Facebook news feed is about to get a little more crowded.

 

The social network began rolling out a new kind of advertisement for select users Tuesday which will show up in the main news feed, according to a report from TechCrunch. Prior to this, Facebook's advertisements appeared on the side of the page under the label "Sponsored Stories."

 

Aside from their placement front and center on the page, this tweak may end up blurring the lines between the promotional and personal content in your feed. As the tech blog points out, Facebook has changed the name from Sponsored Stories to Featured Stories, a subtle change that could mask the fact that the posts have been paid for.

 

Twitter offers a similar kind of advertising known as Promoted Tweets that appear in users' timelines, but these posts are explicitly labeled as "promoted," making it difficult to confuse them with normal tweets. Post continues below.

Just how many ads users see on Facebook will depend largely on how much they use the site. As Facebook explains in its Help Center, "Most people will only see about one featured story a day. If you visit your news feed a lot, you may see more."

 

Unlike traditional advertisements, Featured Stories will typically display interactions your friends may be having with any business on the site if it pays to be promoted. In the example Facebook gives, if you choose to "like" your local gym, that gym can pay Facebook to promote the story in the news feeds of some of your friends to improve the chances that they see it.

 

The same might happen if you check into the gym or use their Facebook app (if there is one). In this way, each user effectively becomes a minor spokesperson -- intentionally or not -- for the brand.

 

More on MainStreet and MSN Money:

5Comments
Jan 12, 2012 6:54PM
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I have seen this on another's FB page and will say this much.  As soon as it starts on my FB news feed, I am done with FB!!!!  It's bad enough that I have to wade through all the dam "advertisements" of my friends who sell stuff as a home-based business.  Getting sick and tired of everything in our lives being so darn commercialized!!

Jan 12, 2012 7:00PM
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What I don't understand is as many people that pay extra for facebook credits, coins, bonus's etc etc. why do we need to be exposed to MORE facebook ads. I am astounded at how many people pay for extra stuff on the games.
Jan 12, 2012 7:43PM
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I know I will be cancelling my FB.  It is getting boring anyway and very intrusive.
Jan 12, 2012 7:55PM
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You may deactivate it, but it never goes away. Not cool in my book. WHY do they hang on to our info even when we're fed up with it? Anyone got the answer for that? I'd really like to know.
Jan 12, 2012 7:52PM
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@lvmustangs... You don't cancel a facebook.  You deactivate it.
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