updated 05:08 pm EDT, Tue June 19, 2012
Site sponsors to be listed in news feeds
Details on Facebook's ongoing efforts to monetize its massive user base continue to trickle out, and now it appears that the social network is testing a new advertising scheme that will show up in users' news feeds. Speaking with Capstone analyst Rory Maher, Business Insider got a peek at the layout for the new ad strategy. In its plan, the social network is believed to be working to bring the commercial sponsors of website content directly into users' feeds.
A provided screenshot shows a sample from Facebook's pilot run of the new ad feature, conducted in partnership with Buzzfeed. Upon sharing a "Clash of the Condiments" piece from Buzzfeed, the "via" tag in a user's post is populated with the name of Buzzfeed's sponsor for the content, Hidden Valley Ranch.
Such a model could have a significant impact, with publishers attaching the names and logos of their sponsors to every piece of content shared through Facebook. The site's users reportedly share more than 30 billion pieces of content every month. The feature would also move advertisers away from their current position in the sidebar, where ads can be easily ignored or overlooked.
Should the social network decide on a wider rollout, the new feature could go a long way toward addressing Facebook's well-publicized mobile advertising woes. As more and more users access Facebook from phones and tablets, the site has found difficulty in pushing ads to those viewers. The ability to wedge sponsors directly into mobile feeds could prove very valuable to the company as it struggles to convince advertisers of the efficacy of its platform.