Facebook will increase the distribution of its 'Sponsored Story' adverts by dropping them into the real-time ticker that sits in the upper right-hand part of a user's homepage.

Launched in January, Sponsored Stories promote friends' interaction with brands, such as likes or check-ins.

The ticker itself was launched in August, but it was discovered that teenagers hadn’t warmed to the new interface – with some even dubbing it a “scrolling stalker".

Yet Facebook has stated that Sponsored Stories are twice as engaging as normal adverts, and statistics from Nielsen show that people are 68% more likely to remember seeing them - and twice as likely to remember the advert’s message.

So while there's no argument that this format is effective, placing them in the ticker may raise eyebrows as some users find it to be an annoyance.

Facebook said that any changes to the site's interface were usually the result of investigation into what users and advertisers want. However, it hasn't always got this right (Facebook Deals being one high profile example), so it remains to be seen whether people find the ads to be useful - or simply irritating.

David Moth

Published 21 November, 2011 by David Moth

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn

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Comments (4)

Peter Gould

Peter Gould, Senior PPC Analyst at Epiphany

It'll be interesting to see what kind of impact this has. I can only assume it's as a result of some sort of eye-tracking/attention study which has shown a lot of users are taking an active interest in the ticker. Therefore, moving an ad unit up there in theory should generate more interest and clicks.

I also wonder if Facebook will ever trial a dedicated advert unit in the central newsfeed or in a user's Timeline, or could this be a step too far for some users?

over 6 years ago

Marie Page

Marie Page, Director at Musicademy

Any chance of a reference on that Neilsen stat please? (From one of your MSc students who needs to academically reference for any assignment!!)

over 6 years ago

David Moth

David Moth, Managing Editor at Barclaycard

Hi Marie, the Nielsen stat was given to me by a contact at Facebook when researching this story - I don't have the exact report it came from I'm afraid.

over 6 years ago

Monica Savut

Monica Savut, Head of Commercial Research Services at EconsultancyStaff

Hi Marie, as far as I remember it's a Nielsen/Facebook study from April 2010 - Advertising Effectiveness: Understanding the Value of a Social Media Impression. Hope this helps.

over 6 years ago

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