It was inevitable, and we all knew it was coming. It was just a matter of when. Well, Facebook has answered the when, according to Marketing Land. As of early next year (note that “next year” is just several days away!), Facebook will be implementing and testing sponsored content within users’ streams. These ads will look and function very similar to the ads displayed via Facebook Sponsored Stories, meaning that a user must comment, like, or take some other type of action on a post in order for an ad to show up.
Facebook is assuring everyone that Sponsored Stories will only show up for you and the people you are connected to, and advertisers will not have the freedom to blast ads all over the Facebook community. More importantly, Facebook users will never see posts or ads from people they’re not connected to, or pages they’re not a fan of. What’s more reassuring is that Sponsored Stories will not appear more than once every 24 hours to users.
Here’s more of what Facebook had to say about Sponsored Stories:
Starting early next year (2012), Facebook will gradually begin showing Sponsored Stories in News Feed. The goal is to do this thoughtfully and slowly. Facebook hopes to show people no more than one Sponsored Story in their News Feeds per day and the story will be clearly labeled.
It will be a gradual rollout, so there is no specific completion date at this time. We’re committed to making sure that people’s experience in News Feed is optimal and we intend to roll this out slowly to ensure this.