While enjoying my normal morning browsing of dog photos, family updates, and tennis controversies, Facebook slipped in a small request for me to take a brief survey. Sure, why not?
Here’s what happened next:
In total, Facebook asked me to look at 14 different posts–some from companies I didn’t follow, some from Pages I did, and others from friends. With each post, I was asked to rate whether I believed it was an ad or not. Interesting, huh?
Now, here’s my speculation on why Facebook is doing this:
- Facebook is just testing my own tolerance for what it already knows are ads.
- Some of these posts triggered FB’s own ad algorithm, and they want a human to confirm if something looks like an ad.
- This is part of a recent announced crackdown on Pages that ask for Likes and Shares.
- Or, perhaps all of the above.
Maybe I’m just too much of cynic–I’ve seen a lot of the web monetized over the past decade–but I can’t quite shake off the feeling that Facebook might be looking to force businesses to pay for any post that looks like an ad. After all, only 6% of posts make it into a user’s feed anyway, so we’re not far from that now.