Facebook tests controversial newsfeed ads for non-fans


Facebook is testing a new ad format that lets brands aim their advertising toward the newsfeeds of users who are not already a fan of the brand page. Previously, a company could only advertise in the newsfeed of its fans. Now Facebook is stepping out from limiting brands to only connected users. The plan is to show adverts for products or brands that users have not previously ‘liked’ on the site, pushing the ad reach for brands out to the site’s 1billion users.


But Facebook risks a user backlash as a poll of 2,000 UK Facebook users by myvouchercodes.co.uk revealed more than half said the site’s advertising was already too intrusive.

The new ‘page post ads’ are currently being tested with a number of partners.

Businesses currently part of the test group can turn any post to their official page into an ad, which will appear in the newsfeed rather than the right-hand column of Facebook ads.

The ads will appear on the desktop and mobile platforms, and will look like regular Facebook newsfeed posts, though they will be marked with a "sponsored" label and carry a "like" button.

The reach of the ads will expand based on fans liking, commenting on, or sharing the message.

Marketers can control of how much they spend on ads by setting a daily or lifetime budget, and is then charged only for the number of clicks the ads receives.

All fans of the brand page will have the opportunity to see the ad, as well as interact with it, but it will also be pushed out to other users who may be interested.

The move comes as the social networking giant’s stock price hovers above its lowest point of $19.38 – half the $38 the shares were sold for on their first day of trading in May.

Facebook said: “We are currently testing a number of ad units in news feed. 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. These ads may appear on both desktop and mobile. We want to be thoughtful about how we introduce ads in news feed, so we have limits in place to ensure that people's news feeds are not filled with advertising. This is a small test and we're constantly gathering feedback from people on how to improve our ad experience.”


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