Soon, you may begin to see promoted posts from pages that your don't even like - or your friends don't even like. You may see a post from a brand that you've never even heard of.
That's because Facebook is testing a new ad format that will allow marketers to promote posts to users that have no real affiliation with the brand on the site. Yet.
Of course, the hope is that these out-of-network promoted posts will reach a much broader audience and thus grab more users to "like" the page. These new promoted posts for non-likers will show up in the news feed, and will feature a "like" button at the top right corner and a "sponsored" denotation on the bottom.
“Starting soon, we are beginning a very small test that will allow marketers to promote page posts to people beyond their fans in the news feed,” says Facebook.
Facebook also says that these ads may show up on desktop and mobile.
Before this test, any sort of promoted post or sponsored story that you saw in your news feed was there because you liked the page or because one of your friends liked the page. This new type of ad option would be huge for marketers, allowing them to reach a completely new audience of users who may have never heard of their brand. For instance, a new restaurant could target users in a certain city, even if they haven't garnered any real "likes" yet.
Of course, this is just a test, and Facebook runs hundreds of tests every month. But something tells me this one will stick. It's a clever way for Facebook to expand ad revenue and an improved way for businesses to expand their reach on the network.
But of course, it's also Facebook getting one step closer to selling straight-up advertising on the site.[Image courtesy Inside Facebook]