By now, we’ve all seen Sponsored Stories popping up in our news feed, and a new ad unit may increase the overall number of posts. New “suggested posts” will allow companies to display posts directly in users’ feeds, no connections required.
Facebook’s popular Sponsored Stories ad type shows posts from pages but must come from one of the user’s connection. This new “Suggested Post” ad type would allow brands to advertise a specific post to users who have no interactions or connections with a brand.
This ad unit makes quite a bit of sense for Facebook. The traditional ads on the sidebar can be easily missed and Sponsored Stories simply can’t reach all of a target market. By promoting an natural Facebook post brands can interact with a greater array of users in a much more holistic fashion than a traditional ad.
One issue that could arise from an ad of this type is the opportunity to be abused. If ad targeting is done properly, ads match user interests and intent. However if this intrusive ad type lacks in relevancy and targeting, it could degrade the Facebook experience.For example, targeting Republican posts to Democrats — directly in the news feed can be viewed as a bad experience for a user.
We spoke to a Facebook spokesperson who stated the following about the suggested posts:
“We recently started a very small test that will allow marketers to promote Page posts to people beyond their fans in the news feed. These ads may appear on both desktop and mobile. These ads will look like other Page post ads in news feed and be labeled as sponsored. We think this will make it easier for businesses to reach more people. This is a small test and we’re constantly gathering feedback from people on how to improve our ad experience.”
Image courtesy of InsideFacebook.