Ads, Ads, Ads: Facebook’s Hidden News Feed Update?

Brian Adams US Communications Director, WildAid

Posted on March 8th 2013

Ads, Ads, Ads: Facebook’s Hidden News Feed Update?

Click to watch Facebook's news feed promo.So Facebook announced its shiny-new news feed yesterday after much anticipation from users (click the image to the right for the company's promo). In his opening CEO Mark Zuckerberg boldly stated that the new design would create “the best personalized newspaper in the world”.  The “hooded one” has a point when it comes to personalizing your news feed, though with user-pleasing larger photos it may be a little more USA Today than Backwoods Gazette.

But what does this all mean? Bigger photos? Check. Friends faces all over? Check. New feeds for a cleaner look? Check. Bigger, bolder ads? Check. Wait, wha?

Yes, if there is one thing we all know about the newspaper industry, it’s that its success depends greatly on ad revenues. Facebook is proving to be no different and here’s CNN’s Julianne Pepitone to tell you why.

According to Pepitone’s article: “What drives engagement drives monetization,” says Ken Sena, an analyst at Evercore Partners. “For Facebook, the News Feed is its product — and its way to monetize users.”

That’s right and it’s really nothing new so we shouldn’t be surprised.

If you’re still wondering about the changes you can hear from the WSJ’s Jason Bellini in this video recap. You may also want to read this Forbes article and this fantastic overview from Ragan’s PR Daily’s Samantha Hosenkamp.

If you haven’t yet, you may also want to sign up to get on the waiting list for the revised news feed as it is slowly rolled out.

What are your thoughts? Are journos jumping the gun regarding ads?



Brian Adams

US Communications Director, WildAid

Brian Adams (@brianadamspr) is the US Communications Director @WildAid. He also consults with nonprofits, including Komera Project and Samahope, regarding communications strategy. Brian was previously Senior Director of Communications at United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley and the head of Media and Community Relations for the MSPCA-Angell. A version of this story first appeared on the author's blog.

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