Facebook ads infiltrate News Feeds under a pseudonym

Facebook has recently introduced featured stories (previously “sponsored stories”) into users’ News Feeds just this Tuesday. Marketers pay for these adverts to be published on News Feeds but only users who have liked their pages will be able to see these ads.

A Facebook spokesman told London’s Daily Telegraph: “We’ve begun slowly rolling these [sponsored stories] out in News Feeds and are labelling them as ‘featured’. These stories respect your and your friends’ privacy settings, and people will only see stories about people and Pages they’ve already connected to.”

The featured stories come attached with a “featured” tag and users should not worry about random ads crowding their news feeds as they will only see content from pages they have already liked. Inside Facebook has also reported that Facebook will initially allow only 1 sponsored story in the news feed and they will not appear on News Feeds when Facebook is accessed from mobile devices.

Another issue that has arisen, as pointed out by TechCrunch, is the language being used by Facebook. Saying that the content is “featured” may cause users to mistake paid advertising for popular content.

I reckon that this is purely Facebook’s sly way of shoving ads onto users’ news feed. Many Facebook users have also thought of a way to sweep featured posts off their News Feed, by disliking pages that is. That certainly wasn’t the response Facebook was looking for.

Well, judging from the largely negative comments since the introduction of featured posts on Facebook, with the addition of the lawsuit Facebook is currently facing with regards to members’ profiles being used in adverts, the Facebook team has certainly got their work cut out for them.

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