Facebook Sponsored Stories Double in SizeBy: Chris Gabbard - May 14, 2012
If you didn’t like Facebook’s sponsored stories you’re really going to hate this. Facebook has decided to double the size of brand pages sponsored stories in your News Feed. Now every time you see a brand that your friends like as a sponsored story at the top of your newsfeed, it will now contain a recent post from the page as part of the “story”.
Under Facebook’s previous scheme, pages would not be viewable in your News Feed unless one of your friends did something on that specific post. Now a post from a sponsored ad can become viewable in your NewsFeed without any engagement.
Advertisers will surely love it, as it makes it seem as though their ads are news, while taking up more page space and getting out more up-to-date information on their brand. Users will most likely hate it, as it is even more intrusive advertising on their page.
What’s obvious is that Facebook is trying to find a happy medium that allows them to maximize ad revenue, while keeping users from getting perturbed over disruptive messages.
The difference between the old and the new ads, is that old one had a much larger version of the brands profile picture, and listed all the friends that liked said brand. The new version emphasizes the brand pages content, appearing like any other story in your feed.
The bothersome thing about this new change is that the older version was instantly recognizable as an advertisement. These new ads are designed to blend in with other stories in your news feed. Although they would probably argue that this is less intrusive, It seems more like a trick. If I am going to see a sales pitch, I want to know that’s what I’m doing. Otherwise it comes across as that brand trying to wedge its way into my life without me knowing it.
Since Launching the Page-Like sponsored stories concept in January, it has seen two redesigns. Originally, it started as a simple line that told you about various brands your friends like on Facebook. It then grew to include the page’s profile picture, with thumbnails of your friends that also like the brand. Now we are seeing three levels stories involved with liking a brand. The people that like it, the logo of the brand they like and a news story from the brand they like. Here is what the progression of changes looks like. How long before your News Feed simply becomes a long list of advertiser’s stories?
When Page-Like sponsored stories was first introduced in January:
The most recent change in Marc; larger, much more intrusive:
The latest iteration; much larger, with three tiers of information: