Facebook will now allow businesses to pay to sponsor stories that will appear in users’ news tickers, TechCrunch reported on Monday. A PR representative for the Facebook told the source that Sponsored Stories will gradually roll out in the site’s ticker.
The stories appear in users’ feeds like any other real-time activities. However, they include the word “Sponsored” to differentiate them from the user-generated content on the website. The placement of the stories will be targeted to individual users, as Facebook will display content from Pages Liked by specific users and friends.
Since launching Sponsored Stories last year, Facebook has found they attract a 46 percent greater clickthrough rate, Brafton reported. However, Sponsored Stories have traditionally only appeared in parts of the website occupied by ad content.
Moving the stories to the news ticker may rub some users the wrong way. However, the ads will be contextual, so users will never see content entirely irrelevant to them. Brafton has reported in the past that context is key to successful social media marketing content.
Implementing promotional content is always a risk for platforms like Facebook. However, Facebook also has some room to work with, based on the size of its network. Brafton reported earlier this year that Facebook has more than 800 million active users.