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.