Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has made some real inroads with its advertising platform in the last year or so since its IPO. With a billion users – though that number has reportedly dwindled somewhat in recent weeks – Facebook is a powerful platform for advertisers to get their messages to a very large, socially engaged audience.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has also made a lot of progress in mobile, where it admittedly was behind the curve a year ago. Now not only has Facebook seemingly caught up, but it is now making huge strides in that 60 percent of Facebook users now access the social network via a mobile device – and the advertising platform has been working to keep up with that popular vehicle.
But yes, even Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) can admit that is adverts sometimes get in the way by being too distracting or intrusive because they look generally so different from the rest of the page, whether its the News Feed, a profile page or just a couple of photos. But would you rather know that what is on your page is an ad, or would you rather it not be so obvious? Facebook seems to be betting on the latter, even if it risks confusing users.
While Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has not rolled it out officially yet, apparently some beta testing of “disguised” advertisements are not getting very positive reviews by those who are part of the test. Facebook is now working on a concept of essentially burying adverts to make them look like posts or comments embedded in a News Feed or comment thread. The only way to tell that a post is an advertisement under the new concept is small, gray lettering that says “Sponsored” under the post.
But that is not even the half of it. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is apparently setting this up as a default – in other words, even if an advertiser does not want to “disguise” its ad as a post or comment, Facebook is setting up all of its ads like this. So advertisers would not have a choice in the matter.
A Facebook official said, “It will automatically turn as many adverts as possible into so-called ‘sponsored stories,’ which aim to replicate the effect of word-of-mouth marketing online. We will automatically add social context to boost performance. We know social enhances ad resonance; people are influenced by this type of word-of-mouth marketing.”
What do you think about this new advertising platform? Do you think it will help or hurt Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)? Would you rather see more obvious advertising? Give us your feedback in the comments section below.