Beginning in January, Facebook rolled out a new form of ad called “Sponsored Stories” which places company posts in users’ news feeds. These ads are labeled “sponsored” or “featured” within users’ news feeds to clearly identify them as advertisements. Previously, Facebook had these sponsored ads on the ticker portion of its pages (in the upper left-hand corner), but these new ads now appear in the main news feed. Furthermore, Sponsored Stories will only appear on a user’s news feed if they or someone they are connected to has already interacted with the company page in some way, including liking the page or checking in to a place page.
These new ads have made it easier for companies to gain visibility for their Facebook page and their brand, as the majority of users’ time on Facebook is spent scrolling through the news feed. This is not to say that companies should only focus on Sponsored Story ads and not on other forms of Facebook ads, but these ads offer a great way to enhance the variety of sources people can use to interact with a company’s Facebook page. The Sponsored Story ads are Facebook’s way of encouraging word-of-mouth marketing by letting users and their friends share more about the companies they interact with.
Further, changes were rolled out in February that affected the way that photos are displayed on Facebook. Comments, descriptions and tags are now viewable on the right side of the photo, and Sponsored Ads have been pulled into the lower right of the photo view (see blue box in the screenshot below).
Companies running Facebook ads should expect to see an increase in user engagement due to the new, more prominent location. The update will also likely place a greater emphasis on visually appealing ads. However, it remains to be seen whether advertisers will be able to choose whether or not they appear in this space, or whether the placement will demand a higher cost per click or impression.
Rumor has it that more updates are on the way for Facebook ad options. Stay tuned to 90blog for information about these changes as they occur.
Thanks to account coordinator Dale Walker for his contribution to this post.