Facebook Adjusts Algorithm To Target Consumers With Feed Advertising

Facebook once stated that there would never be direct advertising in Facebook user’s feeds. It turns out that this is not quite true. After the company went public it has been finding ways to “sneak” advertising into our Facebook feeds.

Disguised as the “Suggested Post”, ads have been rolling into our feeds for quite some time. Also, using the “Promote This Post” feature is Facebook’s way of letting you pay to have your posts show up in more and targeted user’s feeds.

Now, it looks as though Facebook will start serving ads directly into your feed even further. This past Friday the social media giant stated that they have adjusted their algorithm to make sure that only ads that they will find most useful will be served to their feeds. The only drawback to it is that you have to have actually “hidden” posts from your feed previously or this algorithm tweak will not affect what ads you are seeing in your news feed.

So, basically, if you saw an a “Godaddy Suggested Post” in your news feed and actually clicked the right arrow and selected “Hide From Feed”, only then would Facebook’s algorithm stop serving those ads. If you ignored it, you are very likely to see more.

“For marketers, this means we are showing ads to the people who might want to see them the most,” the company wrote in a blog post. “For example, if someone always hides ads for electronics, we will reduce the number of those types of ads that we show to them.”

Facebook looks to calm the advertisers before they start seeing the odd placement of ads in the weeks to come.

“This means that some marketers may see some variation in the distribution of their ads in the coming weeks,” the blog post reads. “Our goal is to make sure we deliver the most relevant ads, which should mean the right people are seeing a specific ad campaign. This is ultimately better for marketers, because it means their messages are reaching the people most interested in what they have to offer.”

Brand marketers that use Facebook to reach their consumers are definitely up in arms as they feel that Facebook adjusted its algorithm to force marketers to pay to reach consumers who have already followed their brand on. A group survey showed that users viewing organic posts from brands they had followed was down by over 38% after Facebook implemented their new algorithm in September of 2012.

Facebook To Start Inserting Auto-Play Video Ads Into Your Newsfeed

According to Bloomberg’s report, the rumors of auto-play video ads in Facebook feeds are true. Facebook has slowly started peppering our Facebook feeds with advertisements calling them “Suggested Posts”. While they initially said that they would never run ads in people’s news feeds, that was obviously a very flexible rule. If those bother you, then the next step will have you pulling your hair out. 15 second auto-play advertisements will be featured and played directly in your feed later this year.

Facebook will be charging between 1 and 2.5 million dollars per day for the ad space. The cost will depend on the number of Facebook members targeted. As you know, Facebook has been keeping track of everything that you “like, comment, and share” and surely use that information to target advertising to “your preferences”. The only question is, do you want commercials (targeted to you or not) playing automatically in your newsfeed? For most people the answer is a resounding, no.

So far, Facebook has yet to respond to the report.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandburg made a comparison to the world’s largest televised sporting event. She stated that “Facebooks audience is three times that of the Super Bowl and they are there every day”. After a very rough launch when going public, Facebook is still trying to find different ways to monetize they daily usage of the social media platform.

The commercials will play silently (unless toggled by the user) and only 3 times per day. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has reportedly delayed the implementation of the ads multiple times due to the fear of destroying consumer experience and hurting Facebook membership. But, with the implementation of the video ads, it’s stated that it might be the investors driving much of this decision.

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Photo via Facebook’s Official Facebook Page