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Facebook updates its branded content policy to trick you into watching even more ads

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Think you’re on Facebook just to stalk your pseudo-friends and ex-significant others? Think again. The ultimate advertising tool just got a bit more “advertisey,” and it’s all thanks to new sponsored content guidelines that make it much more difficult to differentiate between sponsored and organic posts. Whereas previously, Facebook generally forbade publishers from sharing branded content with its vast user base, it’s since amended its stance. The gargantuan social network has published a new set of rules that seem to make it much easier for advertisers to maneuver this highly lucrative online environment.

The latest updates from Facebook allow any verified page to share any sort of branded content, defined as “any post — including text, photos, videos, Instant Articles, links, 360 videos, and Live videos — that specifically mentions or features a third-party product, brand, or sponsor. It is typically posted by media companies, celebrities, or other influencers.”

In essence, this change will allow for more video content to live on Facebook, which serves as a huge revenue source for the Silicon Valley company. Already, the platform puts live and traditional video first in your newsfeed, which serves as an incentive for advertisers to create the sort of content that will draw multiple views (and perhaps, open multiple checkbooks). While it’s yet unclear as to whether or not Facebook will try to go in on the revenue garnered by many of these advertisers, it seems like a logical next step.

“We believe that today’s update will bring more interesting and engaging content into the Facebook ecosystem, but not all branded content is a fit for our platform,” Facebook stated in a post announcing the changes.” People have told us that they find some types of branded content to be less engaging than others, and this was typically when the content was more promotional,”

According to the company, the change is one that “media companies, public figures, influencers, and marketers have been asking for, as branded content is a growing and evolving part of the media landscape.”

Thanks to the company’s update, the social network said, “People will now be connected to more of the content they care most about on Facebook as publishers and influencers gain an incentive to share more quality content — of all kinds — with their fans. We know that many of our partners have existing partnership deals with marketers, and this update gives them the ability to extend their branded content business onto Facebook.”

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