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Facebook Adds Ads To News Feed 130

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the worse-than-mafia-wars dept.
An anonymous reader writes with an excerpt from an article at ZDNet: "As expected, Facebook has started displaying ads in users' News Feeds. You may not be seeing them yet as the company is rolling them out gradually, like it does for all its changes. ... Last month, a Facebook spokesperson said the company hoped to 'show people no more than one Sponsored Story in their News Feeds per day.' This is no longer the case, as Facebook now says you may see more Featured stories 'if you visit your News Feed a lot.'"
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Facebook Adds Ads To News Feed

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  • by DCTech (2545590) on Wednesday January 11, 2012 @11:15AM (#38663464)

    The article clearly notes (and shows screenshot) that the ads that will be displayed on your news feed are from pages you have liked. I only like pages I want to get updated information from (like Team Fortress 2 and some bands), and I get their news updates already. So what's the problem?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Sure that's how it works now, low load, gage effectiveness, then at some point a company strolls a long with an obscene bag of money and next thing you know every fifth item in the stream is "sponsored".

      They've done it on Twitter already...

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 11, 2012 @11:34AM (#38663674)

        Enlarge your penis 4 inches in just two weeks!

        Your fiance and 17 others like this

        • by Anonymous Coward

          My company owns a patent on penis enlargement using proprietary "hydraulic press" technologies. While we're only able to guarantee enlargement of 4 inches on one axis of the penis, we've got leading researchers working on improving the method, and we will vigorously pursue any companies that infringe on, or support infringement of, our patented Get Wide(TM) technology. Facebook had better keep their pants on!

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Oh yeah? Well YOUR MOM likes it too, and shared the link with your father.

        • 17 others?!?! You slut!

      • by jank1887 (815982)

        and isn't that how Digg started down the path to oblivion?

    • by Blue Stone (582566) on Wednesday January 11, 2012 @11:30AM (#38663640) Homepage Journal

      Yeah, this seems reasonable, particularly if you know now that "Liking" a company's page will get their marketing served to you.

      If someone doesn't like this, all they have to do is stop liking commercial organisation's web pages.

      I don't, however, think that the one sponsored article per day limit will last very long. Facebook has a long and established track record for continually breaking self-imposed limits and boundaries.

      • by Soluzar (1957050)
        I don't check Facebook unless someone reminds me to, but you may be assured that I'll unlike all the commercial pages I've ever chosen to like when next I visit.
      • But if I don't promiscuously "like" commercial organisation's pages, I won't get all the free sweet nothings they're offering.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        If someone doesn't like this, all they have to do is stop liking commercial organisation's web pages.

        How you or anyone else can find this acceptable is absolutely baffling to me. I would drop Facebook in an instant and find a different solution. I already found other practice's of their unacceptable and I make sure to blacklist anything from them. Obviously I'm in the minority which I find depressing and puzzling. I personally won't tolerate it in my personal space.

      • by Fuzzums (250400)

        If someone doesn't like this, all they have to do is stop liking commercial organisation's web pages.

        The question is why the Frell would you "like" a commercial organisation in the first place?

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          The question is why the Frell would you "like" a commercial organisation in the first place?

          Because people like deals and one thing you can do is send messages to those that have "like"d your page. So perhaps you frequent an establishment a lot, you may "Like" them and get discount coupons for use monthly or weekly. Or tell you about special deals and offers.

          I'm sure many companies already do this, and companies like NewEgg and such probably offer some spiffy discounts and such. Sure someone will eventually

      • by jythie (914043)
        I think the important question will be, how obvious will this connection be to the average user? Geeks might do the research and find out what is causing the ads, but unless they make it clear, most people will not understand what is causing adverts to appear in their feed and thus will continue to hit 'like' on things they think are cool.
    • by Scutter (18425) on Wednesday January 11, 2012 @11:35AM (#38663682) Journal

      The article clearly notes (and shows screenshot) that the ads that will be displayed on your news feed are from pages you have liked. I only like pages I want to get updated information from (like Team Fortress 2 and some bands), and I get their news updates already. So what's the problem?

      The article seems to suggest that your friends will see it in their news feed (of you) if you've shared it with them in the past.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by s.d. (33767)
      The article clearly notes (and shows screenshot) that the ads that will be displayed on your news feed are from pages you have liked

      Actually, what it says is: "...you must have already Liked Ben & Jerry's Facebook Page, or one of your friends must have interacted with Ben & Jerry's Page."

      So you can (and likely will) see ads from a page that your friend liked but you've never visited.
    • "Facebook Like" does not mean the same thing as "real Like" or even "give a shit about the future happenings of" (for some things) and there apparently is not a way to rescind a "Facebook Like".

      Some things are great in concept, but it doesn't mean I want to hear from them constantly or at all.

      • by Americano (920576) on Wednesday January 11, 2012 @01:08PM (#38664766)

        there apparently is not a way to rescind a "Facebook Like".

        That'd be downright nefarious and dastardly, if it were even remotely true. From Facebook's online help system:

        How do I unlike something?

        You can unlike a piece of content or a Page on Facebook.
        To unlike a piece of content that you or a friend has posted, just click the Unlike link that appears beneath the content itself.
        To unlike a Page (which will also remove it from your profile/timeline), go directly to the Page and click the Unlike link in the lower left-hand column.

    • by ThomasLB (1220384)
      It's not *you* they're targeting, it's your friends. I hope your friends are as into Team Fortress and Nickelback as you are.
    • Have you ever heard of foot in the door? It's how they gradually introduce things before hitting you with the full blown deal. I'm sure it wont be long before you see ads for Axe body gel and thinkgeek. But you'll like those too because they're relevant to your interests, right?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    OHHHH We have to have money to keep this going...

    • by kestasjk (933987) *
      They made $4.27bn in revenue last year, I think you've got Facebook and Twitter confused.
  • No real opt-out (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ron2K (1301199) on Wednesday January 11, 2012 @11:22AM (#38663542) Homepage

    TFA implies that there isn't any opt-out, other than unliking pages or nuking individual ads:

    Since these ads are just stories, they cannot be stopped completely (although ad blockers may find a way around this). Users do, however, have three options provided by Facebook to limit the ads: click hide to remove individual stories, limit the volume of stories you see from a specific friend to only important posts, or unfriend the person and/or unlike the Page to stop seeing certain kinds of stories altogether.

    This is going to piss off more than a few people...

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      TFA implies that there isn't any opt-out, other than unliking pages or nuking individual ads:

      Since these ads are just stories, they cannot be stopped completely (although ad blockers may find a way around this). Users do, however, have three options provided by Facebook to limit the ads: click hide to remove individual stories, limit the volume of stories you see from a specific friend to only important posts, or unfriend the person and/or unlike the Page to stop seeing certain kinds of stories altogether.

      This is going to piss off more than a few people...

      I'm with DCTech I only like stuff I actually like and want updates from, if you're one of those idiots who just "like's" everything then I feel no pity for you. I think the system they have set makes sense and people shouldn't complain about ads when it is free platform they are providing us, they need some way to monetize and stay operational.

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Ron2K (1301199)

        I'm with DCTech I only like stuff I actually like and want updates from, if you're one of those idiots who just "like's" everything then I feel no pity for you.

        "One of those idiots" probably isn't applicable to most of the /. populace... but would apply to the overwhelming majority of Facebook users. ;)

        • "One of those idiots" probably isn't applicable to most of the /. populace...

          You must be new here.

        • Whether I 'like' it or not has no real bearing on whether I want to receive continuous updates every time a product sprouts a new appendage.
          • Whether I 'like' it or not has no real bearing on whether I want to receive continuous updates every time a product sprouts a new appendage.

            That's pretty much what "like" on Facebook used to mean.

            Now it means that you want to spam everyone you know everytime the page owner has a new ad they want to put out, as well as you getting ads/updates.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Unliking pages *is* an opt-out. I've already dropped almost all my likes, over time, because they posted something seriously offensive and/or insulting. Muppets, for example, posted an image about "If you've seen the Muppets more than twice you're AWESOME". Seriously? Goodbye, spammers. Kids are seeing that poster and parents are getting screamed at by kids who want to be awesome. What assholes. I guess I can't like the muppets any more. Kermit, you dirty corporate whore :(

      • by makomk (752139)

        I think that presumably only works if it was you that liked the page in the first place. If it was one of your friends, you're going to be stuck with defriending them or otherwise ignoring their posts in general.

        • I just "unsubscribed" from a friend's posts when the volume and type of post got a bit much--and no, they weren't game/app updates, I blocked those already.

          IIRC the FB newsfeed reloaded immediately and I no longer see her updates unless I go directly to her profile wall.

          My only concern is whether the unsubscribe appeared in the activity feed. It did when someone else unsubscribed from something, but that was to a corporate or commercial entity, which may play by different rules.

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        I guess I can't like the muppets any more. Kermit, you dirty corporate whore :(

        I didn't know this until the other day, but Kermit was born as a dirty corporate ho over half a century ago. Wikipedia doen't have a word to say about Kermit's ancient prostitution, of course, since wiki fiddlers were almost all brought up on the ho's teats. But a thing on (of all places) TV network news revealed that the muppets got their start in TV commercials!

        And since Disney bought the rights to the muppets in 2004, what do

    • by kent_eh (543303)
      There's always the option of doing what I do...br> Which is, avoiding Facebook entirely.
    • The ads caused me to "Unlike" stuff I actually like. I don't know if the ads much affected whether I like Dr. Pepper or Oreo cookies. However, anybody looking at my page in the past would see something like "Amber likes Dr. Pepper". Not anymore. It's almost as if they'd have been better off letting the profile page be the ad, at least with me.
  • by ieatcookies (1490517) on Wednesday January 11, 2012 @11:27AM (#38663604)
    Free service puts some ads up, next story at 11. I predict yhis submission still gets 5000 comments with the obligatory "that's why I have never had a Facebook account" and "Facebook is selling your info to nazis". Slashdot loves to hate.
    • by Scutter (18425) on Wednesday January 11, 2012 @11:34AM (#38663664) Journal

      Free service puts some ads up, next story at 11. I predict yhis submission still gets 5000 comments with the obligatory "that's why I have never had a Facebook account" and "Facebook is selling your info to nazis". Slashdot loves to hate.

      It's not even slightly free. You're paying by giving them a huge amount of marketable data about yourself. Just because it doesn't cost you actual dollars doesn't mean you aren't paying.

      • It's not even slightly free. You're paying by giving them a huge amount of marketable data about yourself. Just because it doesn't cost you actual dollars doesn't mean you aren't paying.

        Speak for yourself. My profile only has a few profile pictures and my name on it. Everything else is bogus or empty. I don't like anything, I don't play games, and I don't use apps. If I could, I'd delete anything I posted > 60 days ago, but as of yet, I haven't been able to write a script that does that without failing spectacularly.

        • by Scutter (18425)

            If I could, I'd delete anything I posted > 60 days ago, but as of yet, I haven't been able to write a script that does that without failing spectacularly.

          How does deleting old posts mean that you haven't given that info to FB?

      • It's completely free, and yes, because I don't pay them in dollars I believe that it's completely free. The service is about providing data of yourself to share to other people. Yes, Facebook can and does leverage this data to bring in real money, good on them, that allows the service to remain FREE (FREE AS IN COSTS NO DOLLARS!). It'd be another story if you had to complete some seemingly random surveys or go off to some CPA enrolment and sign up for some oddball thing before using the site.. but nope,
    • by kheldan (1460303)
      Lets take this to a logical extreme and see how you like it:

      This just in: Supreme Court upholds legal right to require reception of online ads. Evading online ads is now a Federal offense with mandatory jailtime.

      How do you like your ads now? Of course this will (likely) never happen in the real world, but the idea is repugnant at best to you isn't it? Nobody cares if Facebook is "free" or not (and by the way it is NOT free), most people don't like having ads pushed into their faces and will avoid them any way they can.

      Oh, and for the record: If you personally like ads, I think you're retarded.

      • "Oh, and for the record: If you personally like ads, I think you're retarded."
        There have been occasions where advertisements have actually alerted me to products I wasn't aware of and had interest in. While these occasions are rare they do happen, and in fact, that is their intention: exposure. If I had to choose between targeted adverts or random I'd chose targeted - I'm not including "no adverts" in the choice because, well, Facebook needs to pay their employees and bills like every other company.
        • by Mandrel (765308)

          There have been occasions where advertisements have actually alerted me to products I wasn't aware of and had interest in.

          I'd be interested in knowing approximately how often you get useful awareness from an ad compared to from content (editorial and comments). Do you think this amount of useful information is worth the distraction that advertising represents, or is your acceptance of advertising more about the moral issue of it being a quid pro quo for free content?

        • by kheldan (1460303)
          I don't let advertising dictate to me what I do and don't want. If there is something I need, I go looking for it. If there is something I need to accomplish, I go looking for ways to do it.
          • "I don't let advertising dictate to me what I do and don't want. If there is something I need, I go looking for it. If there is something I need to accomplish, I go looking for ways to do it."

            What a ridiculous statement.. I'm literally laughing out loud at this. Would you be surprised that companies experience gains when advertising?? How do you think those gains occur? Do you think that people are dictated by advertising and just graze their sheepish way to the store like zombies, entranced in consum
  • Facebook will cause its own decline far faster and more effectively than any of its competitors could.
  • I just wish they would just stop invading every aspect of our lives. We see them on TV, in our snail mail boxes, at the movie theatre, in the movies themselves, along the highways, on the radio, on our new computers, on the internet, in video games, in our email boxes, and many more places. Goodness when will we be free of Ads. I understand FREE sites require Ads to keep up their FREE services, so that annoying but is understandable in my opinion. We're not even given the ability to tell Ad companies,

    • by bl968 (190792)

      Adblock Plus! Oh wait that's an ad too!

    • by forkfail (228161) on Wednesday January 11, 2012 @03:14PM (#38666296)

      Your post as it will appear in 10 years (after being run through the post post processor):

      I just wish they would stop invading every aspect of our lives (Have you kept up with Real Lives of Guatemalan Maids on NBC?) We seem them on TV (Get the new Samsung Smell-O-Vision today!), in our snail (Get Pest Be Gone for your garden!) mail, at the movie theater (try Fandango!), in the movies (Check out the release of Saw XXVII) themselves, along the highways (BP - the clean energy company), on the radio (listen to KRAP in the mornings!), on our new computers (Buy a Dell! Less bloatware than Gateway!), on the internet (did you check your Facebook this hour?), in video games (get Bloody Carnal Pleasures in time for Christmas!), in our email boxes (shop at Office Warehouse for all your shipping needs!), and many more places.

      Goodness (come to Mikes Mega Church), when will we be free of Ads?

      I understand free (get free stuff from FreeStuff4U.com!) sites require ads (hate ads? try ad away!) to keep up their free services (lonely? call service girl tonight!), so that is annoying but understandable (try Rosetta Stone!) in my opinion (be heard! try BlogMe today!).

      We're not even given the ability to tell ad companies (get 10% off on bulk email when you send 100k mails or more at supespam!), [SOPA deleted phrase]. they pop-up (erectile dysfunction? try BoneBHere!), they blare at you from your TV (still haven't tried that new Samsung? Do you hate America?), you can't fast forward (get a free green ray player when you sign up for Comcraps 10 year contract!) or close them to get rid of them (embarrassing skin condition? try Baby's Ass today!) AUGH! (Feeling down? Try soma today!)

      Stupid (is your child lagging behind? Use lrn2lrn today!) Monkey (vote for Mikey McHonest!)!

  • Make no sense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rik Sweeney (471717) on Wednesday January 11, 2012 @11:51AM (#38663854) Homepage

    What's the point of running an advert in your News Feed for, say, Ben and Jerry's if you already Like it? You're the only one who'll see it and since you already like it, they're not encouraging anyone else to try their product.

    What FB wants to do is show adverts for things you like in your friends News Feeds.

    Shit :(

    • Re:Make no sense (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Turken (139591) on Wednesday January 11, 2012 @12:09PM (#38664060)

      Dang. Read the article more closely, and you're right. Looks like Facebook is giving commercial pages the ability to repost friends' activity to your feed in case you missed it the first time the friend liked (or did whatever else with) thier page.

      This does not look good. While I personally keep my "liked" pages to a bare minimum, I have lots of family and friends that are overly promiscuous with their clicks. I don't want to block everything from those people, but I don't want to be constantly barraged with posts from companies they've liked either.

      Suppose this would be a good time to remind all the friends and family that Google+ is still available and only half as evil...

      • Suppose this would be a good time to remind all the friends and family that Google+ is still available and only half as evil...

        ... and 1/100th the activity.

        I and a couple dozen friends flocked to G+ after being annoyed by one of FB's many bad moves last year, but only one bothers to post there anymore, and his are all cross-posted to FB anyway.

        Lack of events (no, I *don't* want to open and link to Calendars!) and draconian measures for "terms of use" violations are just a few of its shortcomings.

        As far as my "circles" are concerned, Google+ is a failure.

    • by dzfoo (772245)

      So let me ask you, and I'm sincerely curious, why did you or anybody else ever thought "Liking" a commercial company meant?

      I always assumed it meant you sponsored their product or services and are expressing your support; and since it's in Facebook, you're doing so publicly. Exploiting this by broadcasting your sponsorship to all your friends in an attempt to expand brand-awareness seems logical, if creepy.

      As a matter of fact, I always assumed this was happening already.

      • So let me ask you, and I'm sincerely curious, why did you or anybody else ever thought "Liking" a commercial company meant?

        Exchanging the right to be listed as someone who "likes" them and counted in their total number of "likes" in exchange for getting information updates from them.

        Facebook has altered what the "like" relationship means, which means two things:
        1. I'm going to need to re-evaluate what pages I've liked (not a big deal for me, because I'm not particularly prolific in "likes".)
        2. I'm going to

      • by Turken (139591)

        So let me ask you, and I'm sincerely curious, why did you or anybody else ever thought "Liking" a commercial company meant?

        Lots of reasons you may end up "liking" a commercial page, even if you're not really a huge fan of the product. In my case, it's usually to get a high-value printable coupon or other free promotional item.

        Unfortunately there's been a big trend lately of manufacturers running their coupon and sample giveaway campaigns through Facebook so that they can grab all your demographic data in ex

    • It could be even worse... The article doesn't specifically say you have to "like" something in order for it to show up. It uses "interact" -

      "First, you must have already Liked Ben & Jerry’s Facebook Page, or one of your friends must have interacted with Ben & Jerry’s Page."

    • by harl (84412)
      Hmmm. Can this be used to troll friends' news feeds by liking NSFW things?
    • by Kittenman (971447)

      What's the point of running an advert in your News Feed for, say, Ben and Jerry's if you already Like it?

      You'll buy it again, sooner. Capitalism - you've gotta love it.

  • Facebooks adds YOU to the news feed.
  • by Burps (769350)
    Well, Slashdost also does this for a while now !! When I receive my RSS feed through Akregator, I have a Google ad between the title and the story (and that pisses me off!!) I don't think it's much different than FB (although I don't use it..)
  • Adblock Plus FTW! They already have rules in there to block the facebook ad's.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Or, if you don't like the "Acceptable Ads" [adblockplus.org] "feature" that Adblock Plus added in version 2.0, which has the potential to expose you to tracking cookies and malicious scripts, one can use Trueblock Plus [mozilla.org] instead.

  • I hide them, and when Facebook asks me why I choose "sexually explicit."

  • I mean it sounds like if you "like" a commercial page, you increasing the likelihood you will get ads from them.

    Two things pop into my mind. If I have like'd a commercial page, am I really the person their advertising department is trying to reach anymore. I mean I have already basically indicated I know something about the products and services that entity offers and posses a favorable opinion of it. What more can they hope to accomplish by marketing to me?

    There is no better advertizement than the testi

  • Don't use News Feed at all. Make a custom List with everyone you want to read on it, and use that instead. Or you can just completely delete your Facebook account [groovypost.com] and be done with it.
  • I wonder why they made the sponsored link so small and out of the way. They are not trying to trick you are they?? LOL. IMO they are not doing enough to establish its a Advertisement. Why are advertisers so intent in tricking us to spend our money thats what i want to know. This is an old story as well think it was released on zdnet a few weeks ago.
  • I can't be sure, but it sounds as if the businesses aren't going to be posting things to your news feed that they weren't posting already; rather they will be paying to highlight stories: move them to the top of the feed or make them bigger or something. From the article:

    Featured stories you may see
    When a Page you like posts something new
    When a friend likes something (such as a Facebook Page or individual Page post)
    When

  • Putting more ads on the page won't make me read or click more ads. Putting them inline with the content won't do that either. What will make me read or click more ads is showing me ads relevant to me, AND doing so in a non-intrusive manner. The sooner you understand and implement this concept, the more money you stand to make from me clicking on ads.

    I have no objection to non-intrusive ads. I will NEVER click on Flash (or other video ads the play automatically) ads. Not once, not ever. If you use an animate

    • Thing is, the majority of annoying ads are always targeted at the low-hanging fruit: the kind of people that's just above believing the Nigerian prince scam.

      They know they won't rope in the intelligent ones, so they don't care if they're annoying us (hell, it's probably deliberate--"you'll never buy from us anyway, so we'll bug the hell out of you").

      I also haven't disabled /. ads even though I have the option to.

    • by Mandrel (765308)

      I have no objection to non-intrusive ads.

      The problem is that one is less likely to notice unobtrusive ads on sites with interesting content. This means that such sites can't get good ad rates unless the ads blare somewhat.

      Non-intrusive ads work better on search-engines, link-farms, content-farms, and sites like Facebook and Twitter that host small talk. The ads are sometimes the most interesting things on the page!

      So I think an acceptance of non-intrusive ads does little to pay for quality content on the Web. Better would be to either punish

      • The problem is that one is less likely to notice unobtrusive ads on sites with interesting content. This means that such sites can't get good ad rates unless the ads blare somewhat.

        Flawed premise. Plenty of sites with good content have been operating successfully without intrusive ads.

        • by Mandrel (765308)

          Flawed premise. Plenty of sites with good content have been operating successfully without intrusive ads.

          Could you provide some examples of these sites and the types of ads they deliver.

          • Slashdot.org

            • by Mandrel (765308)

              I just checked the ads on Slashdot: animated ads (a squirrel on a trampoline), and large banners in bold colours. A long way from what Adblock Plus considers acceptable [adblockplus.org], and something that I'd find would distract from reading the content (which, I'm arguing, is what needs to happen if the content is in any way compelling).

              Not only that but Slashdot content is mainly user-submitted and user-curated. Slashdot supports a handful of editors, coders, and salespeople — the latter only needed because they

              • 1. The ads do not interfere with reading the content. They're at the top and off to the side.
                2. Try viewing slashdot without flash installed. The ads aren't animated (you may encounter an occasional animated gif)

                I gave slashdot as an example simply because it was stupid to ask for examples when we're on just such a site. There plenty of other examples, but I'm not going to spend time listing them.

  • January 11, 2013: "Facebook Adds News to Ad Feed"

  • by ljw1004 (764174) on Wednesday January 11, 2012 @07:22PM (#38668882)

    US annual expenditure on advertising: $300 billion
    US population: 300 million

    Each of us is paying $1000 per year to have irritating ads thrust in our faces. The money ends up in the pockets of the advertising middle-men like facebook and google and ad agencies. The companies pay it to promote their products. They pass the cost onto us the consumers who buy their products.

    I'm unhappy as heck paying $1000 per year for the "joy" of having ads stuffed in my face. I think the figure should be much lower. This is a business that has gotten out of control through a people brainwashed (by advertising!) to think that this level of advertising is normal.

  • Facebook recently put up this page [facebook.com] that explains how and why Facebook advertise. I thought it was a nice, genuine explanation and it is worth a read.

I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents become better people as a result of practicing it. - Joe Mullally, computer salesman

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