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Facebook to run Sponsored Story ads in your News Feed

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Image used with permission by copyright holder

Hey Facebook users, are you angry yet? No? What if we told you that Facebook has announced that it will begin inserting advertisements directly into your News Feed? There, that should do the trick.

In January, Sponsored Story ads will find their way between your best friend’s relationship freak-outs and Dad’s shenanigans with a rascally shop vac, reports TechCrunch. This will be the first time since 2007 that Facebook has shown ads in the News Feed, and the first time ever that they will become commonplace.

Sponsored Story ads in the News Feed will look more or less the same as other content, but will be identifiable by the “Sponsored” that will appear at the bottom of the ad, to the right of the time stamp.

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Image used with permission by copyright holder

While we are 100 percent certain Facebook users will spiral into a frothy rage about the additional advertisements, the details paint a fairly benign picture. First of all, only one Sponsored Story will appear in your News Feed each day. We’ve asked Facebook to clarify whether this means that one ad will appear only once, or if the same ad will show up multiple times, but they haven’t yet commented on the matter. (We will update this piece when they do — see below.)

UPDATE: A person authorized to speak on behalf of Facebook’s plans for Sponsored Story ads tells: “We’re still working out things, but News Feed content doesn’t change every time someone visits their News Feed. We hope to show people no more than one Sponsored Story in their News Feed per day, but we don’t have details to share beyond this at this time.”

Ok, so it could just be one ad in your News Feed, it could be more. This is entirely speculation here, but we would wager that this bit will at least partially depend upon user reaction, and company demand for this type of ad.

Sponsored Story ads that appear in your News Feed will be derived from stories or Pages that your friends have already Liked. This is intended to increase the chance that you might actually care about the ad, and engage with it in some way. Users may not opt out of seeing Sponsored Story ads, however, though it will be possible to “silence” individual ads. It will also be impossible to have a story or Page that you have liked taken out of the possible Sponsored Story ads pool.

For the next couple of weeks, Sponsored Story ads will continue to show up exclusively in the right-hand sidebar that appears next to the News Feed. So, really, the change is just a matter of inches — not that big of a deal. Right?

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Andrew Couts
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Features Editor for Digital Trends, Andrew Couts covers a wide swath of consumer technology topics, with particular focus on…
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