Facebook promotes user education with new icon above ads

Facebook has added a small icon linking to an “About Facebook Advertising” page next to the word “Sponsored” above ad units on the site.

This gives users a quick way to learn more about how Facebook ads work and why users see the ads they see. Rather than burying this info page in the Help Center, the social network is including a link to it above every group of ads on the site. As the company introduces new types of ads and makes headlines for its evolving advertising model, user education is crucial to avoiding misunderstanding and backlash.

Facebook seems to be tracking which ad campaign was running at the top of a group of ads when users click the icon, which could deliver insights about which type of ads users might be concerned about.

The new icon uses the megaphone symbol Facebook uses to denote its ad product. It is different from the small “F” logo on Zynga.com, where Facebook is testing off-site ads for the first time. In the short term, the ads icon next to “Sponsored” could help draw users’ eyes to the right-hand sidebar because it is new. This might temporarily help advertisers get noticed, but if users click on the icon, they are taken to a new page so they might be able to see or take action on an ad. Either way, users are likely become quickly accustomed to seeing the icon so any of these effects won’t be lasting. This change seems more aimed at user education than affecting ad clickthrough rates.

In December, Facebook promoted the ”About Facebook Advertising” page at the top of some users’ News Feeds. The page positions ads as a way to keep the social network free for users. It emphasizes that ads are shown without personally identifying users, and reminds people that they can choose not to see certain ads by clicking the X in the corner.

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2 Responses to “Facebook promotes user education with new icon above ads”

  1. Facebook Adds Icon To Ads, Directs Users To About Facebook Advertising Page - AllFacebook says:

    [...] blog Inside Facebook reported that the social network appears to be tracking which ad campaigns are running atop the [...]

  2. Social Media Newsfeed: Best of Google I/O | iTunes Sharing | Twitter Digests - SocialTimes says:

    [...] Facebook Promotes User Education with New Icon Above Ads (Inside Facebook) Facebook has added a small icon linking to an “About Facebook Advertising” page next to the word “Sponsored” above ad units on the site. This gives users a quick way to learn more about how Facebook ads work and why users see the ads they see. Techcrunch Ads, not payments, are the future of Facebook monetizing mobile, but it needs content to show them beside. The new Follow action announced Wednesday could deliver that content by letting you follow someone in a mobile app, and then sending the updates you’d normally see in that app back to your ad-laden news feed. Bloomberg The Electronic Privacy Information Center, a Washington-based advocacy group, wrote the FTC Wednesday urging the agency to investigate Facebook’s decision to display @facebook.com e-mail addresses under the ‘Contacts Info’ section of users’ profiles. The New York Times According to two Facebook engineers who asked not be named because they are not authorized to speak about unreleased products, Facebook has completely rebuilt its iOS application to optimize for one thing: speed. [...]

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