Facebook ads are expanding again. Early next year, Facebook will begin testing sponsored stories directly within users’ streams. These ads will operate much like the traditional Facebook Sponsored Stories, connected users much like, comment or take action on a post for it to display as an ad. This is the very ad type that brought about the commercial endorsement lawsuit in California.
The ads will appear as a post with a small “sponsored” label in the lower right side of the post:
Facebook confirmed that the Sponsored Stories will only pertain to your friends and people you are connected to. Advertisers will not have free reign to display ads across the entire Facebook community. Facebook users will never see a post from a page they are not a fan of, or from people who they are not connected to. There will also be rate limits for this type of advertising. Given the intrusive nature of the ad, a Sponsored Story post won’t be displayed more than once a day to users.
We contacted Facebook for more information and were given this statement on features and roll-out information:
Starting early next year (2012), Facebook will gradually begin showing Sponsored Stories in News Feed. The goal is to do this thoughtfully and slowly. Facebook hopes to show people no more than one Sponsored Story in their News Feeds per day and the story will be clearly labeled.
It will be a gradual rollout, so there is no specific completion date at this time. We’re committed to making sure that people’s experience in News Feed is optimal and we intend to roll this out slowly to ensure this.
No information about ad purchasing for this media type have been released yet. It was however confirmed that these ads would not be visible to mobile users upon launch.
For more information see the full ClickZ article.