Facebook Sponsored Stories Debut In News Feeds 2012

Facebook’s sponsored stories advertisements will start appearing in the news feed beginning next month.

These promotions that refrain users’ engagement with a brand until recently appeared only in modules specifically designated for advertisements.

This fall, Facebook started moving sponsored stories through the ticker, and so far, labeling appears to have prevented people from confusing the promotions with activities generated by friends.

Ben and Jerry’s has signed up to become the first advertiser to run sponsored stories in people’s news feeds starting next month.

The introduction of sponsored stories in the news feed next month will mark the first time Facebook has incorporated advertisements in this space since 2007 — that was Beacon, which had backfired for reasons of privacy.

Some might argue that many of the same privacy problems besetting Beacon are creeping back to the site, just in time to cause problems for sponsored stories joining the main news feed.

However, our peer blog Inside Facebook says it expects that sponsored stories in the main news feed ought to enjoy strong clickthrough rates by virtue of more targeted placement among viewers receptive to the content.

Already sponsored stories have demonstrated clickthrough rates 46 percent higher than all other types of ads on Facebook, amounting to the most cost effective form of promotion on the social network.

Facebook currently offers seven different variations on sponsored stories, although the ones that refrain likes have been the most popular sp far.

Readers, how do you think sponsored stories will fare in the main news feeds on Facebook?

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