Facebook tests ‘suggested post’ label for non-social News Feed ads

Some Facebook users are seeing ads in the desktop and mobile feed with the label “suggested post” when there is no connection between the user and the advertiser who has paid for the content to be there.

In August, Facebook began testing a News Feed version of its page post ad format to allow advertisers to reach a broader audience than their own fans and friends of fans. Sponsored Stories, which were the first type of ad introduced to the feed, are only shown to users who already Liked a page or whose friends had Liked a page. Page post ads, along with mobile app install ads, are the first “non-social” ads to be shown in the mobile feed.

The new “suggested post” label is likely being tested to understand how users feel about this type of paid content being mixed with posts from friends and pages they chose to connect to. The label is more noticeable than the small “sponsored” note on other News Feed units. Although it might help users notice the ad and be more likely to engage, it might also lead more users to mark it as spam if they don’t find it relevant.

Relevance is key for News Feed ads to be successful. It is much easier for users to tune out bad ads in the sidebar, but if ads interrupt the core experience of browsing News Feed, it could hurt overall engagement. Although Sponsored Stories about what friends are interested in seem like they would be the most relevant ads because of social context, there are actually times when well-targeted page post ads might be better. For instance, a user might not have any friends that like the Babble Home page, as in the mobile ad above, but if the user enjoys cooking, an ad linking to recipes might be interesting. On the other hand, a Sponsored Story about three friends Liking the Petco page is irrelevant if the user doesn’t have a pet.

Facebook page post ads are similar to Twitter’s Sponsored Tweets, which appear within the mobile and desktop stream even if a user does not follow the advertiser or follow another user who does.

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6 Responses to “Facebook tests ‘suggested post’ label for non-social News Feed ads”

  1. Facebook Testing Suggested Posts In News Feed - AllFacebook says:

    [...] Facebook appears to be testing yet another type of ad unit: Suggested posts, which are showing up in both the desktop and mobile news feeds of some users of the social network, as reported by sister blog Inside Facebook. [...]

  2. Social Media Newsfeed: Horses and Bayonets | Facebook Earnings | Twitter Tests - SocialTimes says:

    [...] make money from less-profitable users who are increasingly accessing the site from mobile devices. Inside Facebook Some Facebook users are seeing ads in the desktop and mobile feed with the label “suggested [...]

  3. This week’s headlines from across Inside Network says:

    [...] Facebook tests ‘suggested post’ label for non-social News Feed ads [...]

  4. Facebook Sends Mixed Messages On Spam With Recent Moves - Forbes says:

    [...] a reason it was unfamiliar:  Suggested Posts have only been around for a few weeks. Unlike Sponsored Stories, there’s nothing social about them. Advertisers can put them in front [...]

  5. Native Ads In 2013: Scale, Headlines As Banners, Mobile, Samsung, And Yahoo - Lok Karma - Lok Karma says:

    [...] that even Mark Zuckerberg lets brands pay to inject content directly into users’ news feeds with Suggested Posts (even without a social connection to the brand or a friend who likes the brand page) purely based [...]

  6. 15. Mobile Ads Terrorize Users | I Don't Speak French says:

    [...] but I have no doubt that this will soon change. Possibly the next step will look similar to the “suggested posts” on Facebook, where the ads are mixed in with regular posts as you scroll. (Note to Facebook, I [...]

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