Kathleen Shrimpton Team : Web Production Tags : Social Networking

Facebook set to put Sponsored Stories in News Feed

Kathleen Shrimpton Team : Web Production Tags : Social Networking

Last Tuesday it was announced that Sponsored Stories on Facebook will be now be moved into user’s News Feeds.

Sponsored Stories are targeted ads that are based on the types of brands/businesses that a user and their friends have liked. So not only do they target specific ads based on data of what you ‘Like’ they also present you with brands/businesses that your friends have liked.

They are positioned on the right of the News Feed, not part of your main content, asking for you to Like a page as several of your friends have already done so. It doesn’t interrupt the flow of the News Feed and looks more like a recommendation as it shows your friends interests as well.

Currently the News Feed allows you to see the latest updates from your friends. Facebook also allows you to customise your feed by choosing which friends you want to appear in your News Feed. However when Sponsored Stories are introduced you won’t be able to change a setting to make them go away or choose what brands you want to appear. The only way to get rid of them is by clicking the X remove button. But you will need to do this every time…

This announcement has come when Facebook intends to exceed their revenue of $100 billion next year. Although there has been uproar from users from the recent announcement, the outcome of this situation will probably be what always happens...people will get used to it.

They always do.

I remember when Facebook changed their layout a couple of years ago and how annoyed everyone was including me. I didn’t like the change. But did we stop using it even though many threatened to?


Facebook now has a strong 800 million users. I can’t even remember how Facebook looked before the change as I’m so used to the new layout. I obviously can’t compare a layout re-design to targeted ads appearing in user’s content, but I think it will still follow the same pattern. 

  • Users gets pissed off
  • Then get used to it
  • Then forget how it was before

It’s the same as when YouTube introduced ads in videos. At the time it really annoyed me, but now I’ve become so used to it that I wait for it to appear and close it straightaway without thinking.

I’m definitely not saying that when a social media site changes something that affects the usability with in your face advertising, that people should just get over it. But I have a strong feeling that whilst people will get annoyed about the change now, in a year’s time most of us will be used to it.

It’s Facebook. It’s what always happens.