Facebook starts testing targeted ads in News Feed

The company said it is launching a small test which will be later expanded

Facebook has started displaying targeted ads in some users' desktop News Feeds in a test of Facebook Exchange ad delivery system.

"Allowing advertisers to reach people in News Feed is important because people spend more time in News Feed than any other part of Facebook," the company said in a blog post on 26 March announcing the "small alpha test".

Until now, advertisers were able to run standard ads in the right-hand side bar of Facebook on the desktop. Now, they can do the same for ads in the News Feed on the desktop, Facebook said. Advertising changes for mobile clients were not announced.

Targeted ads will be served to users via Facebook Exchange (FBX), a way of advertising on Facebook introduced last fall that shows ads to people based on their browsing interests, Facebook said. "We ... believe that ads delivered through FBX will create more relevant ads for people," the company added.

The introduction of FBX for the desktop news feed will not change the number of ads people see in their feeds, it added.

For the closed alpha test, Facebook works with a small number of advertisers but it will expand News Feed ads to other advertisers "over the coming weeks".

Facebook already faces a legal threat for showing ads in News Feeds in Europe. By placing unsolicited advertisements in users' news feeds the social network could be breaking the European Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications, the consumer Ombudsmen of Norway, Sweden and Denmark said in November.

According to that directive, electronic mail for the purposes of direct marketing may only be sent to subscribers in Europe who have given their prior consent, otherwise it's considered spam, according to the Ombudsmen. They wrote a letter to the former European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, John Dalli, to raise the issue. The ombudsmen expected to receive a reply from the Commission early this year, but they are still waiting, Norwegian Consumer Ombudsman Gry Nergard said.

Until the Commission decides if Facebook's News Feed advertising practices fall within the scope of the directive "we have decided not to force them", to do anything, Nergard said. For the time being, the Norwegian Ombudsman asked Facebook to provide an advertising opt-in for users, but Facebook decided not to introduce one, Nergard said. In a letter sent to Facebook on Tuesday Nergard asked the social network "nicely" to introduce an advertising opt-out for users instead.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

CMOs are talking the CX talk, but not yet walking the walk

Customer experience is eclipsing product as a competitive differentiator. CMOs are recognising this shift and talking the talk. But are they also walking the walk?

Will our manners go the same way as texting when robotic servants take over?

Much of the talk in the industry is focused on the limited amount of time that screens have left in our lives.

Katja Forbes

Founder and chief, sfyte

Social purpose: Oxygen for your brand health vitals

If trust is the new currency, then we’re in deep trouble. Here's why.

Carolyn Butler-Madden

Founder and CEO, Sunday Lunch

https://bit.ly/2t5z6fIView this brilliant service and then apply in your product marketing which will increase your sell ..

Sujay Patel

Why Gartner thinks brands are too uptight about strategy

Read more

The things who have mentioned are very convincing and will certainly work.

Lunna Walker

Xero evolves to fit a changing marketplace

Read more

The use of the virtual reality and the additional reality in marketing are only the first steps to the unlimited possibilities. When you ...

Viri VR

Treasury Wine Estates ramps up consumer engagement with augmented reality app portfolio

Read more

Personally, I know about using virtual reality in VR games or when watching movies. I live in Melbourne and often visit a club - https://...

Rafe Frost

3 brand new virtual reality experiences in action

Read more

Infographics are quick and easy to understand! Pictures indeed speak better than words. SEO in Mumbai

Tanushree

Image intelligence:10 must-see infographics for marketers

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in