Facebook looks to amp up ads in users' news feeds

The social network is testing a new way for advertisers to reach users that involves placing unsolicited ads into users' news feeds regardless of any connection to the brand or product.

Facebook is getting users accustomed to ads slowly and incrementally. One small change, then another -- that way, users get used to seeing them.

The social network began testing one more way to bring in ads today: dropping them into people's news feeds even though the user or their friends aren't necessarily fans of the brand or product.

According to TechCrunch, these tests are part of a hard-hitting Web and mobile news feed ad unit geared toward impressing investors. The way it would work is advertisers could pay to display their Pages in users' news feeds without having to grow a fan base first. Currently, these Pages are only displayed in Facebook's sidebar or Sponsored Stories.

"We are beginning a very small test that will allow marketers to promote Page posts to people beyond their fans in the news feed," a Facebook spokesperson told CNET. "These ads may appear on both desktop and mobile and will look like other Page post ads in news feed with a sponsored label. This is a small test and we're constantly gathering feedback from people on how to improve our ad experience."

It's not yet clear when these ads will roll out to more users and become available to more advertisers.

Facebook launched news feed advertising in January, dropping in unsolicited ads from users' fan pages and labeling them "featured." Since then the social network has been developing other types of ad testing -- particularly in mobile since it's increasingly more important for earning revenue. In June, Facebook began working on a mobile ad product that uses real-time data based on users' locations.

Updated August 15 at 8:40 p.m. PT with comment from Facebook spokesperson.

About the author

Dara Kerr, a freelance journalist based in the Bay Area, is fascinated by robots, supercomputers and Internet memes. When not writing about technology and modernity, she likes to travel to far-off countries.

 

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