Facebook Inserting Ads Into News Feeds

Facebook began inserting ads into users’ news feeds yesterday, CNet reports. Advertisers will now be able to pay to display their company’s pages in news feeds, even if the user isn’t a fan of the product or brand.

A Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch, “We think this will make it easier for businesses to reach more people.” The spokesperson also said that the company wanted to be thoughtful about how it introduces the ads and has limits in place “to ensure that people’s news feeds are not filled with advertising.”

What those limits are and when the ads will roll out to more advertisers and users is unclear at this point. What is clear is that there is no way to opt-out of the advertisements.

Facebook first launched news feed advertising in January and labeled the unsolicited ads on users’ fan pages as “featured.” It was limited to one ad per day, and a user could roll over the word “feature” to figure out whether it was a legitimate post or if it was paid for by a sponsor. The user then had to click the “x” to close the ads individually.

The social network’s decision to start dropping ads into users’ news feeds might have something to do with its dismal earnings since going public. Facebook went public in May at $38 a share but saw its stock lose 40 percent of its value when the company reported its first earnings in July. This latest move may be an attempt by Facebook to convince investors that the company’s stock is still profitable.

How do you feel about Facebook inserting ads into users’ news feeds?