Posted November 23, 2011 6:18 pm by with 4 comments

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Facebook has found a way to put more ads in front of more people. Why is that a bad thing?

The latest uproar involves Facebook’s move to include “sponsored stories” in the home page Ticker. The Ticker, which I still don’t have, is made to quickly deal with all of the boring notifications generated by your friends when they do something:

Susan bought a duck in Farmville. Grant listened to “Don’t Stop Believing.” Natalie commented on “Cute Puppy Plays with Baby” video.

Now, in addition to those updates, you’ll see things like Andrew, Carl and Corky like Triscuts – Sponsored.

In other words, more information that you could live without.

A spokeswoman told the Huffington Post that up to 10% of a person’s Ticker could be ads. And I’m assuming that the use of the word “ad” was the Post’s choice, not the actual verbiage from Facebook. You see, the only thing that really bothers me about the whole concept is their use of the phrase “Sponsored Stories.” I’m a writer and these profile-connected blurbs are not stories. They’re ads who have hitched their wagon to a friend of a friend.

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The reality is, as a user, I don’t mind ads showing up in my Ticker. . .if I had a Ticker. They’re unobtrusive and short-lived, unlike the commercials on my favorite TV shows.

As a marketer, I say ‘yeah’! It’s one more place to catch the eye of a potential customer. After that, it’s all about the cost verses the return. I imagine, for some businesses, it will be worth the investment.

How do you feel about ads in the Ticker? Annoying? A waste of good ad dollars, or good to see another option?

  • Totally and completely annoying. There is a reason my use of FB has fallen dramatically over the past several months. But I sure love twitter and google +

    Maybe they will learn from FB’s mistakes?

  • I don’t like the ticker at all. In fact, I avoid the problem all together by limiting my time on facebook by blocking the website during specific hours. I don’t even get to use it for enough time to notice the changes.

  • The Facebook ticker certainly cathches my attention out of the corner of my eye, so from a marketing point of view, I think this will be quite interesting, however from a personal point of view, I think we will have to wait and see how annoying having your attention broken for the sake of an Ad will be.

    1 in 10 isnt that much, and I dont think it will annoy that many folks, however possibly having an opt out for ads may be a consideration?

  • I think that most of us have become somewhat inured to being exposed to advertizing (though it is still effective) and simply tune it out. I personally don’t find it very offensive as it in no way prevents me from doing what I logged into FB (or whatever) to do!