Facebook is expanding its advertising options and will begin to show Sponsored Stories ads on the friends Ticker in the right upper side of the page. Although many find the Ticker confusing and annoying, it is surely grabbing the users attention and Facebook intend to ride it.
Facebook’s spokesperson, Annie Ta, has confirmed to the marketing news site, ClickZ, that starting today (Monday) Facebook will begin to show the Sponsored Stories ads on the friends Ticker and she also added that these ads could be twice as engaging as other Facebook ads.
Since it has become known just a couple of days ago, i already was reading many opinions and criticism about this new advertising method. Most of the criticism was directed towards the fact that users won’t identify what is a regular friend’s update on the Ticker and what is a Sponsored Story, What will benefit the advertisers and not necessarily the users.
I have a little different opinion- We have to remember that Facebook isn’t a non-profit organization, but a business with clear profits intentions (and rumored to go public on the first quarter of 2012). As i see it, using the unique social networking characteristics for monetizing purposes is legitimate if:
1. The ads will be marked as Sponsored Stories prominently.
2. The ads won’t bother the user experience as a reasonable updates-ads rate will remain.
I think that if Facebook will use this wisely it can even contribute sometimes- Imagine entering a certain page discussing about some topic and an Sponsored Story related ad will appear on the friends Ticker where the users can find more information/products/services about the topic.
Additionally, I know that many of you who are working at home are engaging with Facebook advertising. This can offer you a great effective marketing and branding opportunities with (potentially) high conversion rates where users might engage with your ad more than in other Facebook ads (as Annie Ta stated).
To understand and to learn more what are exactly Sponsored Stories, you can watch this video: