Friday, January 27, 2012

The Truth About "Featured" Ads on Facebook

It was expected, and now it has happened. Facebook is displaying "paid" ads in people's News Feeds. If you haven't noticed them yet, Facebook is gradually rolling them out, so you'll soon see them.

In the past, Facebook has always labeled a paid ad as "Sponsored", but these new ads will be labeled as "Featured", which has a level of confusion for many users. At first, Facebook said that they would show only one "Sponsored" story in a person's News Feed per day, but once again that has changed. If you visit your News Feed often throughout the day, you may notice several "Featured" ads.

One of the reasons, Facebook chose to label these ads as “Featured” instead of “Sponsored” is because all of them must be related to friends and/or Pages you've "Liked." Advertisers can't just pay for an ad and have it display in your News Feed unless you have either interacted with them or their page in the past or one of your friends have done so. To make it even more confusing, you're written story can also be "Featured" as an ad, but only shown to people whom you originally shared it.

So what about YOU? Have you seen any of these "Featured" ads and/or stories in your News Feed? Would you pay for a "Featured" ad on Facebook?

9 comments:

Rick Barry said...

Hm. I haven't noticed this trend yet, but I tend to be stingy with the businesses I'm willing to "like" on FB. Sounds like limiting my professional like-list is the right thing to do. Thanks, Joyce, for this heads-up.

Timothy Fish said...

I've used ads on Facebook before. I haven't paid much attention to what's going on with "Featured Ads", but they could be useful. Primarily, what I've used Facebook ads for is to tell people about some of the stuff we're doing at church. I like that I can target the ads to a specific area. I've also tried promoting some of my books that way, but with limited success. The big problem with online ads is that they are so hard to focus toward the people you really want to see them and the blanket approach is costly. Since the featured ads are aimed at people who have interacted with you, they could be used to advertise events, such as book signings or book launches, which only people who know you are likely to attend anyway. But the thing is, I don't see how that is greatly improved over just sending an invite to the people on your friends list.

Author Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

Rick, It does look like people who don't want to be overwhelmed with a lot of "stuff" may need to scale down the number of pages they like.

Author Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

Timothy,

I've used paid ads on FB to promote my FB page and my website and it worked rather well. I set my own pricing and schedule. I haven't tried it since they've implemented this new process.

The way I think it will help is through the extended friend's network. For instance, you can only invite people who are already your friends to an event. Even if people have "liked" your page, you can't invite them to an event if you aren't friends with them, but they "may" see your event post on their news feed. However, you can have a "paid" ad be featured on the news feeds of all your friends and their friends and the news feeds of anyone who has liked/subscribed to your page. That's the distinction.

Linda Glaz said...

Ever notice how anything that starts out and seems to be too good to be true, usually ends up being just that. Had to know FB would be filling our lives with more ads...

Timothy Fish said...

Linda, the funny thing about ads is I love them when they give me information I want and I hate them the rest of the time.

Jeanette Levellie said...

I am mad at FB since they put me in timeout for friending too many people. HA! They didn't realize it would drive more people to me; I've had a plethora of friend requests since I've been in FB jail.

I don't pay too much attention to the ads, Sponsored or Featured. If I knew the person, I would look at it.

I ditto what Linda said.

Author Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

Jeanette, I was put into FB timeout when I first started on FB. Quite frustrating!

Karen said...

Okay, ladies, I'm curious. How many friends does it take to put your in "timeout." (Hmm. Almost sounds like there should be a punch line.)

I've used FB Adverts to promote my book/page but I didn't see any really significant results in sales or likes. I also used Google Adwords which garnered more clicks and a couple more sales but again, not overwhelming results.