Facebook's new advertisement feature will appear in the main news feed rather than off to the side.
NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- Your Facebook news feed is about to get a little more crowded.
The social network began rolling out a new kind of advertisement for select users Tuesday that will show up in the main news feed, according to a report from TechCrunch. Before this, Facebook's advertisements appeared on the side of the page under the label "Sponsored Stories." Facebook's new advertisement feature will appear in the main news feed rather than off to the side.
Aside from their placement front and center on the page, this tweak may end up blurring the lines between the promotional and personal content in your feed. As the tech blog points out, Facebook has changed the name from "Sponsored Stories" to "Featured Stories," a subtle change that could mask the fact that the posts have been paid for.
Twitter offers a similar kind of advertising known as "Promoted Tweets" that appear in users' timelines, but the label makes them less likely to be confused them with normal tweets.
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Just how many ads users see on Facebook will depend largely on how much they use the site. As Facebook explains in its Help Center, "Most people will only see about one featured story a day. If you visit your news feed a lot, you may see more."
Unlike traditional advertisements, "Featured Stories" will typically display interactions your friends may be having with any business on the site if it pays to be promoted. In the example Facebook gives, if you choose to "like" your local gym, that gym can pay Facebook to promote the story in the news feeds of some of your friends to improve the chances that they see it. The same might happen if you check into the gym or use their Facebook app (if there is one). In this way, each user effectively becomes a minor spokesperson -- intentionally or not -- for the brand.
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